Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Businesses gathered at The Hive for a special seminar aimed at making them more aware of cyber security.
The seminar, organised by the University of Worcester’s Business School, explained the risks Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should consider and what strategies to put in place to help combat online threats, which are estimated to cost the country £27bn a year.
Demystifying Cyber Security: the Route to Business Growth, included talks from a number of leaders in the field, along with an opening seminar by Robin Walker, MP for Worcester.
Richard Henson, a leading UK cyber security specialist and University of Worcester lecturer, said many SMEs were leaving themselves and their partners exposed to computer hackers because of a lack of understanding.
“Most small businesses now have digital information systems,” he said. “Many are online, and taken together, SMEs form a large part of the national information infrastructure of the UK. However, the limited resources of smaller companies mean that they are often unable to focus as closely as they may wish on what may be perceived as peripheral activities, including information assurance.”
Richard, who is an advisor to adviser to Key IQ Ltd which runs the Malvern Cyber Security Group and a Senior Lecturer in Computing at the University of Worcester, advocates a new independent scheme, Information Assurance for SME (IASME), aimed at encouraging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop more robust systems. He also recommends penetration testing, because hackers are using ever more devious methods to gain access.
Initial results of a survey on SMEs were presented at the event, which was sponsored by the University, along with Worcestershire County Council, Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Consultants, Titania, First Solution, Malvern Cyber Security Group, Key-IQ Ltd, and The IASME Consortium Ltd.
The UK government launched its Cyber Security Strategy in November last year with the aim of encouraging businesses of all sizes to focus on this important issue. The CyberSecurity Knowledge Transfer Network is partly funded by the Technology Strategy Board, and regularly runs events for small businesses. To find out more about information assurance for small businesses visit http://iasme.co.uk/ and for more general advice access Get Safe Online. To report a possible act of cybercrime, go to http://actionfraud.org.uk