Scalable Cyber Interventions Accelerating Productivity Practice for SMEs

Lead Participant: BCP Council


Micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a vital part of the UK economy, but the share of high-productivity UK SMEs remains substantially lower than other G8 countries. There is growing evidence that a barrier to SME productivity is poor data management and lack of cyber security awareness. This programme will address the organisational behaviours that create these challenges.

BCP Council, in partnership with Dorset Cyber Alliance (DCA), proposes the 'Scalable Cyber Interventions Accelerating Productivity Practice for SMEs' programme (SCI>APPS). This trial of prototype SCI>APPS products and services will identify and measure the impact on the productivity of Dorset's SMEs through better digital management and cyber security accreditation. This trial will run from July 2019 to June 2020.

SCI>APPS is an integrated training and self-support programme building on the four recently completed Proof of Concept studies in Dorset. The studies proved that SMEs' growth and productivity can suffer directly from poor digital data management and careless cyber security behaviour. Furthermore, evidence shows that SMEs are unlikely to win new business contracts that increasingly require national security and data management accreditation. Conversely, those that have good practices through a combination of new contracts, compliance certification and organisational behaviour change increase productivity.

This SCI>APPS trial will ascertain the best way to teach SMEs, who are often time-poor and assume their growth is not really linked to cyber and data compliance, the benefits of better digital management and cyber security awareness and accreditation. SCI>APPS is two effective and scalable behavioural change interventions which can be delivered flexibly:

Intervention 1 - Cyber and data management webinars and 'nudge' tool
Intervention 2 - The Accreditation Challenge Game online + phone app + 5 minute video case studies
In the research trial a baseline control group will be set up providing SMEs with only basic information on data management and cyber security (no interventions).

SCI>APPS will engage with 300 micro/small businesses across Dorset's Creative and Digital and Engineering and Manufacturing sectors - Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership key sectors.

The Evaluation Plan will appraise the number of SMEs that adopt better data management and become cyber essential accredited (and associated increased productivity) as a direct result of each of the two interventions. Once proven, SCI>APPS could effectively be scaled up nationally.

DCA will help oversee the programme. DCA is a consortium of large and small businesses working with Dorset Police, Bournemouth University, Local Authorities and DLEP.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

BCP Council £244,932 £ 244,932


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