Business in the Community urges UK SMEs to address vulnerabilities against disasters

To help tackle the potentially devastating consequences of a lack of business resilience, Business in the Community (which was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales) is launching a tool for businesses designed to check their robustness in the face of a crisis.

SMEs make up 99.9% of all businesses in the UK and employ 16.1 million people (ie 60% of the country’s private employment). Launching to coincide with Responsible Business Week 2018, Business in the Community: The Prince’s Responsible Business Network is challenging SMEs to test their resilience and preparedness in the face of an emergency.

The simple online test, called ‘Would You Be Ready?’, asks business leaders an array of questions to assess their preparedness and provides advice on how businesses should be safeguarding their assets. The test focuses on three of the biggest issues that could affect businesses: cyber attacks, fires and floods.

The campaign addresses a real issue of business complacency, which has been highlighted in multiple independent reports in recent months. Almost half (43%) of British SMEs admit to having no business continuity, disaster recovery or crisis management plans in place, despite almost the same number of UK companies (46%) suffering at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.

Joey Tabone, resilience director for Business in the Community, said: “SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy. The impact that an issue or crisis could have on them is significant, with potentially life-changing consequences for owners and employees. There’s also the potential for a negative effect on the economy as a whole. We’re urging SME owners across the UK to take the test and use Business in the Community’s free advice to scrutinise their own business practices and ensure they’re protected against future incidents that could put their business, and their livelihoods, in jeopardy.”

The ‘Would You Be Ready?’ campaign is backed by the Government’s National Cyber Security Centre, as well as Barclays, who have reported that 95% of UK business leaders consider cyber security to be either very or quite important to their business, and yet 45% do not have a formal cyber security strategy in place.

Alison Whitney, the National Cyber Security Centre’s director for engagement, added: “We know that cyber security can feel daunting for SMEs, but the good news is that, by following some simple, quick and low-cost steps, today’s companies can shield themselves from most online attacks. Having strong passwords, backing up data and taking steps to avoid phishing attacks should be second nature to SMEs. By taking the ‘Would You Be Ready?’ resilience test and following our advice, they can avoid the common cyber attacks that have the potential to cost time and money and damage business reputations.”

*To take the test and for additional advice on increasing the resilience of SMEs visit: https://www.tradingforgood.co.uk/would-you-be-ready/

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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