On 23 June, the UK government introduced a new online cyber security training course designed to assist the procurement profession to stay safe online.

After a recent government survey found that half of the worst breaches were caused by human error, the government aims to increase awareness and help organisations reduce risk. The course, freely available online, has been designed to help persons in the procurement industry protect themselves, their businesses and their suppliers from cyber attack.

Three main aims are set out:

  1. To increase awareness of common cyber risks and threats that procurement professionals may experience in the workplace.
  2. To provide advice on how to prevent risks and how to deal with risks should they arise.
  3. To provide advice on how to safeguard digital information, raise awareness of cyber issues with suppliers, and give examples of how to deal with data breaches in the workplace.

Investment into the UK from abroad, especially in the technology and procurement industry, has increased dramatically over the past few years, and organisations are beginning to put more emphasis on harnessing digital technologies to improve efficiency and reduce costs within their businesses. The UK government has also provided cyber security guidance to lawyers, accountants and small-to-medium enterprises through an £860 million cyber security programme. The UK government encourages all businesses to take up the training, advice and support it offers.

Providing this free training is understandable as the UK seeks to preserve its status as one of the safest places in the world to do business, and preserve the integrity of its policy to grow technology and digital industries.