Cybersecurity and Data Protection Toolkits for SMEs – Strengthening the cybercrime defences of South African small businesses 

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This project is part of the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) commitment to build national cyber security capacity and resilience to cybersecurity threats in five middle-income countries. The UK Government’s Digital Access Programme provides support through: Government-to-Government technical assistance; cyber hygiene training; public awareness-raising; and research. It aims to reduce the impact of cyber harms on their governments, economies and citizens – particularly amongst groups vulnerable to online exploitation. This project was implemented in partnership with WomHub and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA).



To develop an online cybersecurity and data protection toolkit to help protect South African Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) against cyber harms as they move to online trading.


Small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) play a crucial role in the South African economy. They account for 98% of South African businesses, employ 50-60% of the total workforce and contribute 39% of GDP. As businesses are moving to trading online, they are exposed to new cyber risks. Many owners have neither the knowledge nor the funds to implement the controls and procedures they need to protect their businesses. The new Protection of Personal Information Act has placed further pressure on these businesses to effectively protect personal data online. Failure to do so can result in a hefty fine.


  • Over 400 SMME’s trained in the online cyber security and data protection toolkit.
  • The data illustrated that the training improved participants knowledge of cybersecurity and data protection.


  • Cybersecurity and data protection toolkits and basic cyber hygiene training for South African SMMEs, aligned to the UK Cyber Essentials scheme and international good practice, underpinned by regulation and incentives.
  • A nationwide communications campaign, featuring radio ads and op-ed commentary, to disseminate the toolkits to the wider South African community and to raise awareness of the importance of good cyber hygiene.


  • Assessment of the knowledge level of participants on cybersecurity and data protection,
  • Assessment of knowledge level post training to quantify maturity progress,
  • Roll out of the Cybersecurity Toolkit and Data Protection Toolkit to target SMMEs. Dissemination through training programmes, ad-hoc workshops / programmes, partnership development and a communications campaign,
  • Cybersecurity training for SMMEs,
  • Integration of the Cybersecurity and Data Protection Toolkit into existing South African programmes and trainings,
  • Delivery of a train-the-trainer programme for incubator hub managers, delivered in partnership with SEDA.

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