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

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

by Brian Sims

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/

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