Moving your small business from the physical to the digital

Cyber security advice for small businesses adapting to new ways of working 

Many small business owners have reacted quickly to the constraints imposed by COVID-19, adjusting their ways of working to keep their business active. In many cases, this has meant placing greater reliance on digital technology.

Our new guidance package provides a concise resource that will help small businesses manage this transition safely and securely.

Reacting to COVID-19

This guidance has been created specifically to support small businesses who are relying more heavily on IT services to run their business, as a reaction to the COVID-19 lockdown. As always, we’ve worked closely with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and trusted partners, to understand what help was needed from us.

The result is a guidance package which will help you gain a clear picture of your cyber security as it currently stands and plan any new measures you should put in place. Working through the advice should give you confidence that your online business is secured sensibly.

To keep the guidance as short and clear as possible, we’ve focused on just the most important topics, but we also link out to reliable sources of further information.

Getting cyber security right

You shouldn’t need a degree in computer science to run your small business securely. But, cyber security is complicated. If you don’t have all the IT skills yourself, it can be hard to know what to do – and when you’ve done enough.

Having good relationship with your IT service provider(s) will help massively with this. So we’ve identified and explained the key cyber security topics we think you should care about, so you can be sure you’re covering all the right bases.

As a good first step, you should have a clear understanding of what services you are using and who has responsibility for their security. This may entail talking with your providers. To help with this, ‘From physical to digital’ contains a list of topics and questions which will help you start a positive conversation.

These questions will also help you ensure that security is at the forefront of any new services you decide to take on as part of your shift to a more digital business model.

Other guidance and support

The NCSC has already published a number of other guides that may be helpful to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Home working guidance to support people who may be working from home for the first time
  • Working from home securely, on personal IT (blog post) for those who don’t have work-issued IT
  • Video conferencing for organisations for those who may be using video conferencing for the first time, or relying on it more than usual
  • Response and recovery guide to help businesses think about how their business has changed recently, and may change again in future, and help them to prepare and respond as well as they can

We hope you find our guidance useful, and as always we’d love to hear your feedback. Please do get in touch via our enquiries service, or on our social media channels.