Businesses should be doing more to defend themselves from cyber-crime according to former defence secretary and Conservative MP, Dr Liam Fox.
In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) today, he will call for new laws that will force companies to disclose hacks and security breaches to their shareholders and stakeholders along with banning companies that do not meet a certain minimum security level from working with the government.
‘I believe the government needs to change the law to make it illegal to be hacked without informing shareholders and stakeholders’
‘Any organisation that does business with the government should have a minimum defined level of cyber security or they will be excluded from government contracts’
‘Although we talk about cybercrime, cyber espionage, and cyber welfare as being separate entities they are in fact part of a continuum’
According to Fox, businesses who do not effectively protect themselves are not only a risk to themselves but also to our national security, previously stating that tough legislation is integral to preventing attacks and it is increasingly important for small businesses to wake up to the threats and take action:
‘It is much easier to penetrate a small company than a major organisation such as the Ministry of Defence’
‘It is a serious concern that outright denial of cyber-attacks is all too often the response of companies that are primarily worried about their reputations’
However, the most recent estimates from the government suggest that businesses with approximately 100 employees or more tend to spend around £10,000 per annum on protecting themselves – something that could be a daunting prospect for smaller businesses.
Fox will also demand a merging of the offensive and defensive cyber security departments, making them accountable to a single government body.
‘I would like to see all government cyber activity … concentrated in one place and answerable to a single ministerial portfolio’
Currently, responsibility for cyber-security rests across the board – including the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office, the Foreign Office and the department of Culture, Media and Sport.
If you enjoyed this article, sign up for a *free* BusinessesForSale.com account to receive the latest small business advice, features, videos and listings directly to your inbox!