New £5,000 government grant for small businesses in the UK to boost cyber security.
Announced this week by Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, the Cyber Security Innovation Vouchers Scheme is intended to to protect small businesses in the UK from cyber attacks. It is designed specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and will launch later this month.
The scheme is part of a package of initiatives intended to increase the resilience of UK firms to cyber crime. The package also includes a new online learning and careers hub to help ensure the UK has the cyber skills talent pool to protect both the public and private sectors as the nation faces the reality of increasing cyber threats.
The scheme will offer increased protection for small businesses, and the new online hub will help ensure the nation has the skilled workforce in place to manage the increased pressures of the digital age.
The new “Inspired Careers” online skills and career hub has been developed by industry body CREST and Government to tackle the skills shortage in cyber security. The hub features careers information and advice, internship and apprenticeship opportunities, academic and professional training courses, work experience and senior level vacancies, and will be a tool to promote the cyber security profession and encourage the next generation of cyber specialists to help protect the UK.
The voucher programme will have a total budget of £1 million. Individual vouchers will be provided up to the value of £5,000.
The vouchers can be used to access specialist advice to boost cyber security and protect new business ideas and intellectual property. As well as helping protect businesses from cyber attacks, the vouchers will enable firms to access services from the UK cyber security industry. The scheme will also help businesses to adopt Cyber Essentials, the Government’s flagship scheme to protect businesses online.
Micro, small and medium sized businesses operating in the UK will be eligible to apply.
Also announced as part of this package was the new Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). The Cyber KTP fund is worth £500,000, and is jointly funded by DCMS and Innovate UK. It will provide grants to encourage partnerships between academic institutions and cyber security companies to support innovation and to help the businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity. The funding of £500,000is expected to support around 12 innovative cyber security projects.