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Cyber conference to discuss lack of security planning

Posted on July 3rd, 2017

Despite a second global ransomware attack in just two months, nearly half of businesses still do not have cyber security plans, latest research has shown.

The malicious coding originating in the Ukraine on Wednesday last week locked computers and demanded $300 in bitcoins to release them. Companies that refused to pay were warned they would permanently lose all their data.

Although not as vicious as the wannacry virus that almost shut down the NHS in May and attacked computer systems all over the world, the latest assault seemed to focus on ports and firms shipping goods globally.

Firms in Denmark, America, Argentina, Russia and China reported being hit by the latest ransomware virus, which appears to operate on the same basic structure as wannacry.

The latest research was carried out by London-based accountancy, investment and tax group Smith and Williamson. It confirms earlier research, including some carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce, which found that cyber attacks now account for half of all UK crime, that two-thirds of companies have been attacked and 15% could have been hit ten times or more.

A year from now, under new General Data Protection Regulations, companies will face crippling penalties – up to four per cent of global turnover – if they don’t take measures to prevent data theft.

The importance of backing-up data, updating virus protection, ensuring software is up-to-date and coping with the growing risks posed by workers using cloud technology on company and personal smartphones, tablets and laptops while working away from the office, will also be on the agenda at a forthcoming major regional cyber security conference.

“Cyber crime is a rapidly growing phenomenon. The potential for any organisation or individual to fall victim to increasingly clever cyber criminals gets bigger every day,” said Andy Watterson, Business Crime Manager and cyber crime lead at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire).

“But the threat is not just one of disruption, it’s also about the damage that can be done to reputations and the huge financial penalties companies will face from next year when the EU General Data Protection Regulations come into force,” he added.

Raising awareness of cyber threats plays a critical part in preventing them, Andy said, adding: “Companies are used to considering compliance, legal, fire and flood risks but, this latest research seems to confirm, still have not grasped the cyber risk.”

The East Midlands Cyber Security Conference and Expo, takes place at the Village Hotel, Chilwell, Nottingham, on Thursday 6 July. It is expected to bring together more than 150 business leaders, information security providers and key influencers to discuss the threats posed by online criminals and practical ways through which businesses can make themselves more resilient to cyber crime.

The event, which has been organised by East Midlands Chamber, is sponsored by Air-IT, an award-winning specialist deliverer of bespoke outsourced services including support, cyber security, backup and business continuity, consultancy, cloud, telephony and broadband and connectivity solutions.

Paul Judge, Marketing Director at Chamber patron Air-IT, said: “We’re delighted to be headline sponsor at this year’s East Midlands Chamber Cyber Security Conference and Expo. Highly regarded in the regional business calendar, the event helps bring together local businesses and leading experts in the field of cyber security.

“In wake of the recent global ransomware attacks, it’s essential that businesses take cyber security seriously and we’re keen to help delegates learn from this example through our keynote speech focusing on the wannacry attack. We’re aiming to give delegates a real insight into the ever-evolving threat landscape and growth in cyber crime.”

The Chamber has hosted a number of seminars across the region aimed at equipping local businesses with the information and knowledge they need to protect themselves online and will continue to work closely with local constabularies and national agencies to help push this agenda forward.

Places at the event can be booked online at