“You are much more likely to be a victim of an attempted cyber-attack than an offline crime”– that was the message small to medium-sized business professionals heard at the recent cyber security seminar hosted by the Police and Crime Commissioner.
In association with his Independent Business Advisory Group* and the Hertfordshire Growth Hub**, the event was organised to inform local small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of potential cyber threats and share advice on how they can raise defences against the UK’s fastest growing crime type.
Attendees heard how SMEs are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks with 71% of companies with up to 10 employees becoming victims of cyber scams, compared to 13% of larger organisations.
The Police and Crime Deputy Commissioner, David Gibson, who spoke at the event, said:
“We know from speaking to businesses in Hertfordshire – cybercrime is a big concern. Businesses need to understand the threat of cybercrime and look at the options available to them to increase their cyber security. Small changes to password and internal security can protect businesses from a vast number of threats.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner and County Council have jointly funded a Cybercrime Programme Manager to develop and implement a cybercrime strategy for Hertfordshire.
Michael Nadasdy, Cybercrime Programme Manager, said:
“An unprotected computer with access to the internet will be attacked approximately every 40 seconds. The scale of cybercrime is something that we haven’t seen against real life crime, but businesses can take quite simple measures to protect themselves against most threats.
“The Cybercrime Strategy will raise more awareness, signpost businesses to support and help reduce the likelihood of businesses becoming a victim again.”
A consultation for the new Cybercrime strategy is open and available to view: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultation
If you are a business, charity or other organisation which is currently suffering a live cyberattack (in progress), please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately. Specialist advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Other reports can be made using the Business Reporting Tool or by calling 0300 123 2040
*The Independent Business Advisory Group was set up by the Commissioner to better address the specific concerns businesses in Hertfordshire have in relation to a wide variety of issues including cybercrime and fraud. Membership includes Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Herts Local Enterprise Partnership as well as other Hertfordshire business owners.
**The Hertfordshire Growth Hub help established businesses with real potential for growth to access the support they need to achieve even more. FREE impartial support www.hertsgrowthhub.com.