IT security campaign targets small businesses

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IT security campaign targets small businesses

Bill Goodwin
The government will next month announce a £2m, three-year IT security awareness campaign targeted at the UK's 29 million online consumers and small businesses.

The campaign, currently named Project Endurance, is co-ordinated by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

It is backed by the Cabinet Office, the CBI, banks, police and suppliers, including Microsoft and Symantec, following concerns that hackers are using small business and home PCs to attack larger organisations.

"There was recognition across law enforcement and government that denial of service attacks were the result of consumers and small businesses being compromised," said John Lyons, crime reduction co-ordinator at the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

The campaign grew out of work by government-industry security body the Information Assurance Advisory Council.

"People working in the [IT security] field often overestimate how much people understand. Some people have no idea how to install patches and they find firewalls difficult to use," said Maarten Botterman, chief executive of the IAAC.

The government is developing a kitemark scheme to help government departments and local authorities chose secure IT equipment.

The scheme, called Gipsi, will offer the kitemark to equipment proven to meet the manufacturer's security claims.

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