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UK to Pilot European Cyber Security Services

The UK is to be one of the first countries to pilot a security industry-supported scheme to provide cyber security services for SMEs in Europe.

The project, known as the co-ordinated cyber security taskforce and response (Costar) scheme, has been in development for over two years and is to begin pilot deployments this year.

Costar is a not-for-profit organisation providing a managed security service programme for SMEs.

According to the European association for e-identity and security (EEMA), the UK, Netherlands and Belgium will be the first countries to be trialled.

Jon Shamah, chairman of EEMA and Costar Stalwart said: "The UK will be one of the first countries to benefit from Costar in the proof-of-concept stage due to start in the coming months."

The scheme will then be rolled out across EU member states country by country in 2016.

According to the UK government's latest Information from the Security Breaches Survey, the cost of data breaches for smaller businesses with less than 250 employees is between £65,000 and £115,000.

Shamah added: "A single cyber attack can have a severe impact on an SME as well as its customers and suppliers, which means often a whole supply chain can be affected."

According to research by the government's Cyber Streetwise Campaign, one quarter of UK SMEs think cyber security is too expensive to implement and 22% admit they do not know where to start.

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