A new cybersecurity standard has been launched by the Government to try to cut the £800m lost to small businesses every year.
BAE Systems, Barclays and Hewlett-Packard are among the first businesses to apply for the new Cyber Essentials award.
It allows business to show consumers that they have measures to defend against cyber threats, such as the recent GOZeuS and CryptoLocker malware attacks.
The scheme, which went live yesterday, was introduced by the Government in April. Until now, there had been no single recognised cybersecurity assurance certification suitable for all businesses to adopt.
The Cyber Essentials scheme also has the backing of insurers, which are offering incentives to businesses to become certified.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “The recent GOZeuS and CryptoLocker attacks show how far cyber criminals will go to steal people’s financial details, and we absolutely cannot afford to be complacent. We already spend more online than any other major country in the world.”