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Keep your business safe online event



Posted: September 28th, 2017

‘Brian Lightowler presenting from QG Business Solutions’
Brian Lightowler presenting from QG Business Solutions

On Thursday 28 September 2017 I had the pleasure of attending the ‘Keep your business safe online in Cumbria’ event, hosted by Carlisle Ambassadors, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Cumbria Constabulary.

The event which was held at The Halston in Carlisle offered education and support to businesses on how they can pro-actively protect themselves from cyber attacks as well as improve their security practices.

Peter McCall, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner led proceedings and gave a great welcoming, introducing Mark Webster the Assistant Chief Constable for Cumbria Constabulary to the stage who went on to talk about the different types of cyber crimes that exist, and are reported to the police, including malware, ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks and hacking, along with different ‘traditional’ crimes that are associated with cyber crime such as fraud, theft, harassment and blackmail. Mark provided current data on cyber crimes that are reported to Cumbria Police and encouraged businesses to report all instances of such crimes to allow a truer reflection of cyber crime in the County to be understood.

Alan Barr, the Assistant Chief Constable for Merseyside and Titan (The North West Serious and Organised Crime Unit) then spoke further on business crime in Cumbria and the structure of crime units in the UK, including the National Crime Agency (NCA), regional crime units such as Titan, and local forces such as Cumbria Police and the work they do. Alan also talked about Action Fraud which is an organisation who you can report cyber crime to.  More details can be found on the Action Fraud website – www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Tim Mitchell from Get Safe Online then took to the stage and provided some great examples of how cyber fraud is committed, using email spoofing, phishing emails which contain links to sites, malware and ‘vishing’, which was a new term to me. Vishing is where phone calls are used to determine information from unsuspecting end users, such as bank details or passwords, or even names of key people within companies.  Tim played a great video to the audience, which highlighted cyber fraud, which can be viewed here:

https://www.getsafeonline.org/themes/site_themes/getsafeonline/resources/Harwood_Estates.mp4

Vin Pandha from Lloyds Banking Group followed Tim and talked passionately about cyber crime in the banking industry and re-iterated why banks would never send emails requesting password information or security information. If you are suspicious of any emails you receive portraying to be from your bank, phone your bank using the telephone number advertised on their main website to verify the emails authenticity.

Brian Lightowler from QG Business Solutions then spoke about cyber essentials accreditation which can mitigate up to 80% of the common risks of cyber crime.  Brian kindly highlighted me to the audience as a cyber essentials accredited practitioner who provides advice to businesses.

Kate Wilson from Carlisle Ambassadors and Peter McCall then rounded up proceedings with a question and answer session. Questions from the audience were given to the panel of presenters, with a couple of questions redirected from the panel to me for further advice and guidance.

For businesses, the key point I took from the event was the importance of educating employees. As a business it is imperative you train your staff in cyber security to help keep your organisation safe, by identifying threats such as fraudulent emails.

Every business no matter how large or small can be targeted by cyber criminals and security relating to IT systems is paramount. My team at David Allen IT Solutions are on hand to share our expertise and implement steps to keep businesses safe from cyber crime.  Call us to arrange your FREE business review on 01228 711888.

Cyberattack – a business survival story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-fAFn1jpms

Gary Martin

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