For those who visited the Digital Pathway’s Cyber Security Seminar on 1st March 2016, there was a lot of important information to take away. Held at the Harlow Enterprise Hub, the afternoon was one of astute presentations around the cyber security threat, and inquisitive questioning from the visiting crowd. One speaker who quickly grabbed the attention of the audience was Donell Henry, a representative from Barclays Bank. His presentation centred on cyber fraud, and ways that his bank were helping customers to alleviate the risk.
For those of us who love to talk cyber security, March 1st 2016 was a fantastic opportunity to hear from experts from across the industry, thanks to The Cyber Security Seminar held at the Harlow Enterprise Hub. Five specialists in a variety of fields took the time to speak exclusively about how their specific services or sector was able to deal with the rapidly growing cyber threat. Local businesses were also invited along to listen and contribute with their own questions and concerns, making for a highly informative and invigorating afternoon.
Essex Police Crime Commissioner
On the 1st March 2016, Digital Pathways were delighted to hold a Cyber Security Seminar at the Harlow Enterprise Hub. Talks came from a number of esteemed guests, all specialists in their chosen field, and the afternoon was well attended by businesses from across the county looking for security guidance. The keynote speaker for the day was Essex Police Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston CBE, whose insightful presentation centred on the responsibility we all have in the battle against cyber-crime.
On March 1st 2016 an insightful Cyber Security Seminar was held at Digital Pathways HQ, with the Harlow Enterprise Hub playing host not only to five exceptional specialist speakers but also a number of highly enthusiastic local businesses looking for security guidance. With the programme running from a 1pm registration through to drinks, canapes and networking from 5.30pm onwards, it was a packed afternoon filled with talks from highly influential and inspirational figures, and probing questions from visitors.
The threat of a cyber security attack to UK businesses is an ever-growing risk. As the numbers rise and the frequency quickens, it is becoming more and more essential that each and every organisation across the country invests in a cyber strategy. It is only by applying these processes and guarding against potential breaches that the likelihood of an attack can decline. Statistics from the BIS 2014 Information Security Breaches Survey indicated that 81% of large organisations have experienced a breach in some way, with costs ranging from anywhere between £600,000 and £1.5m as a result. Two years on, the situation is even more serious.
Ransomware is a particularly malicious form of malware that gains access to a user’s system and then proceeds to prevent them from accessing their own data. In some cases, the files on the system are encrypted so as to be irretrievable without the key, and in others access is simply denied to the device’s owner. In both situations the hacker will demand a ransom is paid to unencrypt the files or have access given back to the user.
For small and medium sized businesses across the UK there appears to be a real disregard for cyber security. When implementing Health and Safety processes you will find that most companies are attentive, and when isolating potential HR nightmares they are vigilant, but when it comes to protecting their data, and the data of their clients, the response is sadly lacking. In many ways this is to be expected. The ‘Digital Age’, although in full swing, is still something that is being adapted to, and businesses becoming more and more aware of the possibility technology holds.
Many people see 2015 as the year that data breaches and hacking were brought to the fore for businesses across the globe. From Ashley Maddison, to TalkTalk, the major brands experienced huge upheaval, thanks to the weaknesses in their online security systems being expertly exploited by cybercriminals. Interestingly, off the back of what was a disastrous year for many, January 28th 2016 was coined as #DataProtectionDay, with an awareness campaign organised to tackle the ignorance surrounding security.
As a business based in Harlow, it is a worrying statistic that, outside of central London, Essex has the highest amount of recorded cyber fraud of anywhere in the United Kingdom. In the past 6 months alone, there have been 6,679 fraud cases documented. Of that figure, 66% were related to business, and 25% (a quarter of the full figure) were to do with cyber-crime. We are not talking about small data breaches either. One company was the victim of a malware attack that cost them in the region of £80,000. The scariest part of all? That staggering sum was lost in just 10 minutes.
Many view the services of cyber security specialists as a way to protect against faceless, nameless hackers who are sending harmful attacks externally. By putting up walls around your network, and manning them on your behalf, these companies keep your organisation safe from attack, and breaches of confidential data. An issue that is becoming more and more prevalent in the security industry though, is the insider attack. It has highlighted the fact that just because the wall is up, it doesn’t mean that you are safe from a data breach, either from an intentional act, or an accidental one.