The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), together with Cabinet Office, DCMS and Home Office, has recently launched the latest phase of its Cyber Aware campaign. This included, on Friday 26 Feb, a self-assessment tool on the website to help sole traders and micro-businesses check how safe they are from cyber threats, and to give advice on areas of improvement.
The increased use of email, online payments and collaboration software has brought great benefits to businesses, including the construction sector, but it does come with risks.
According to Action Fraud reporting, between Nov 2019 and Dec 2020, the construction sector was in the top three sectors impacted by cyber crime where the victim was a business.
That is why, as part of the Cyber Aware campaign, the NCSC has created the Cyber Action Plan available at CyberAware.gov.uk to help micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees and sole traders securely navigate the increasingly digital landscape they operate in. You may also find the links to the resource hub and toolkit helpful. These include suggested messaging, key behaviours, and a leaflet for use digitally or in print.
After responding to questions on their current IT practices in the new Cyber Action Plan, businesses will receive tailored advice on how to improve their cyber security, based on the responses given.
The Cyber Action Plan recommendations stem from the six practical, actionable steps from the technical experts at the NCSC that protect us from the majority of online crime:
- Use a strong and separate password for your email
- Create strong passwords using 3 random words
- Save your passwords in your browser
- Turn on two-factor authentication (2 FA)
- Update your devices and apps
- Back up your data
The behaviours underpin the cross-government Cyber Aware campaign, and you may hear radio advertisements in March urging businesses to use the Cyber Action Plan.