Moving your small business from the physical to the digital
New guidance package from the National Cyber Security Centre provides a concise resource to help small businesses to adapt to new ways of working safely and securely.
29 May 2020
Moving your small business from the physical to the digital.
Cyber security advice for small businesses adapting to new ways of working.
Many small business owners have reacted quickly to the constraints imposed by COVID-19, adjusting their ways of working to keep their business active. In many cases, this has meant placing greater reliance on digital technology.
The new guidance package from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides resources that will help small businesses manage this transition safely and securely.
Reacting to COVID-19
This guidance has been created specifically to support small businesses who are relying more heavily on IT services to run their business, as a reaction to the COVID-19 lockdown. The NCSC has worked closely with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and trusted partners to understand what help was needed.
The result is a guidance package which will help SMEs to gain a clear picture of cyber security as it currently stands and plan any new measures that should be put in place. Working through the advice should give SMEs confidence that their online business is secured sensibly.
To keep the guidance as short and clear as possible, the guidance focusses on the most important topics, with links to reliable sources of further information.
Getting cyber security right
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to run your small business securely. But, cyber security is complicated. If you don't have all the IT skills yourself, it can be hard to know what to do - and when you've done enough.
Having a good relationship with your IT service provider(s) will help massively with this. NCSC has identified and explained the key cyber security topics we think you should care about, so you can be sure you're covering all the right bases.
As a good first step, you should have a clear understanding of what services you are using and who has responsibility for their security. This may entail talking with your providers. To help with this, the guidance contains a list of topics and questions which will help you start a positive conversation.
These questions will also help you ensure that security is at the forefront of any new services you decide to take on as part of your shift to a more digital business model.
Other guidance and support
The NCSC has already published a number of other guides that may be helpful to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Homeworking guidance to support people who may be working from home for the first time
- Working from home securely, on personal IT (blog post) for those who don't have work-issued IT
- Video conferencing for organisations for those who may be using video conferencing for the first time, or relying on it more than usual
- Response and recovery guide to help businesses think about how their business has changed recently and may change again in future, and help them to prepare and respond as well as they can
For more information about how to improve cyber security within your organisation, please read the NCSC web pages especially for small businesses at www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/small-business-guide.