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Government invests in workplace cyber security

The UK government is offering up to £200,000 funding for businesses to research the security of Internet of Things (IOT) devices.

Organisations can apply for the funding, and those successful will be tasked with finding out which cyber risks are attached to workplace IOT devices such as printers and meeting room booking systems. 

The research is deemed of high importance due to the sensitive data which is routinely collected by smart devices at work.

With HR departments having the most access to such sensitive employee and company data, they are often most at risk from cyber attacks. Any upgrades to workplace cyber security be seen as a major benefit.

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In August 2019, a group of Russian hackers launched cyber attacks on software company Microsoft, using the company’s conference phones and office printers.

The funding grant forms part of the government’s wider National Cyber Strategy, which it has pledged £2.6 billion pounds towards, aimed to limit the UK's reliance on individual technology suppliers and put the UK in a stronger position with cyber technologies.

Research conducted by digital communications company Zivver in May 2022 found 91% of companies thought they could be more progressive with how they tackle IT risk management, while 33% of employees claimed they received no data security training in the last two years.

Zivver surveyed 1,000 employees and 250 IT leaders from UK companies.

The UK’s cyber minister Julia Lopez said: “Technology played a pivotal role in keeping British businesses going during the pandemic, helping the pivot to hybrid working and boosting productivity ever since.

“This research will ensure we have the right measures in place to protect our economy and keep our offices and workers safe from cyber security threats.”