In November 2021 the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) announced the adoption of two dedicated toolkits under the UK Government Digital Access Programme (DAP) in support of small businesses across South Africa and Nigeria.
Today, GCA is pleased to announce an extension to the agreement – ensuring availability of the toolkits for a further two years, increasing the impact and providing a lasting legacy to the critical DAP works funded by the UK Aid Conflict, Stability and Security Fund1.
Under the programme GCA developed a dedicated portal for each country2 from which the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small Business could be accessed. The dedicated portal included relevant, localised resources and formed the basis of a series of events designed to build cybersecurity capabilities. Rather than adopting a single approach, the in-country project teams employed a variety of different tactics for distributing the toolkit. These included train-the-trainer events to establish a cohort of trainers and facilitators to lead future training programmes, webinars, in-person workshops, and media campaigns.
In South Africa, training was delivered to over 600 business owners, trainers, and facilitators during the first 6 months of the programme. Over 95% of event attendees surveyed had looked at or used the toolkit since attendance, and 76% of those that had used the toolkit found it very useful with the remaining 24% finding it useful. Comments received from two of the attendees interviewed after attending one of the trainings:
- ‘A week or two ago my manager approached me and asked how we, as a cybersecurity team, are going to try bringing awareness to cybersecurity matters, so this toolkit came at the perfect time because we were wondering how we were going to go about bringing awareness. The toolkit covers business practices, emails, ransomware, and malware, so that would be nice for us to use and implement in our business as well as possibly hold an internal workshop to spread awareness.’
- ‘Cybersecurity is important to me and my business because we take a lot of information from our clients. I was trying to find ways to mitigate the risk of our client’s information being stolen and our clients being vulnerable. I am very grateful that you guys have created the toolkit because when you start thinking about cybersecurity you don’t know where to start, the toolkit gives you step-by-step guidance of what to do. The toolkit helps you think of your problems in a certain way and allows you to tick things off as you learn.’
The toolkit was launched in Nigeria on 5th April at an event attended by dignitaries and small business owners from across Nigeria. Speeches were given by senior representatives from the British High Commission, Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA – ngCERT), KPMG, and FCDO. A toolkit workshop was conducted during the launch by Cybersafe Foundation, and feedback from attendees included:
- ‘This session has been very helpful. It helps with some of the work we are already doing. For example, typo squatting – I loved that you addressed that. It is a very big problem. The toolkit helps us, the people we work for, and the community we are trying to build when creating a safer cyberspace.’
- ‘[The section on] passwords really struck me because I am terrible with using one password for everything and that’s something I need to change. I am a director at a start-up which is a platform for SMEs leveraging driving change. This [toolkit] will be very relevant to them. I would love to reattend [this session] again.’
Terry Wilson, Global Partnership Director at GCA, said ‘We are extremely proud that our work within the Digital Access Programme is helping small businesses across South Africa and Nigeria improve their cybersecurity. We are absolutely delighted that KPMG has recognised the importance of the toolkit, the impact it has had, and have chosen to extend their availability for a further two years. We look forward to working closely with in-country partners to continue the programme’s impact.’
Richard Krishman, Programme Lead Partner, KPMG, commented ‘We are pleased to have secured such an important legacy for the DAP which will ensure small businesses across South Africa and Nigeria can continue to benefit from the free tools and resources contained within the toolkits.’
Jemima Hodkinson, FCDO Digital Access Programme Manager, added ‘The GCA toolkit of free resources is enabling South African and Nigerian SMEs to defend themselves against cyberattacks. Cyber threats can impose significant costs on SMEs and so it is very rewarding to see the positive feedback and impact the toolkit is having on raising awareness and cybersecurity posture.’
1. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund cross-HMG ‘Digital Access Programme’ aims to catalyse more inclusive, affordable, safe and secure digital access for excluded and underserved communities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia. Increased digital inclusion in the programme countries will form the basis for more thriving digital ecosystems that generate high-skilled jobs, opportunities for local digital entrepreneurship focused on country-specific development challenges, as well as potential partnerships with international and UK business aimed at mutual prosperity. The Digital Access programme will also focus on learning about sustainable models and enablers for digital inclusion. The learnings will be shared with key stakeholders and other partner countries, thereby amplifying the impact of the programme. https://cybilportal.org/projects/digital-access-programme-trust-resilience/
2. Links to dedicated toolkit portal pages:
Dedicated Toolkit Portal for South Africa: https://gcatoolkit.org/saferbusiness/
Dedicated Toolkit Portal for Nigeria: https://gcatoolkit.org/small-business-dapnigeria/