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Major conference on cyber security

Posted on June 1st, 2017

The importance of backing-up data and updating virus protection will feature prominently at a forthcoming major regional cyber security conference.

Ensuring software is up-to-date and the growing risks of workers using cloud technology on company and personal smartphones, tablets and laptops while working away from the office will also be on the agenda.

Latest reports suggest that cyber attacks now account for half of all UK crime, that two-thirds of companies might have fallen victim and 15% could have been hit ten times or more.

The scale of the recent global wannacry ransomware attack was exacerbated because many organisations, the NHS among them, still use Microsoft XP as their operating platform even though Microsoft withdrew its support for the programme in April 2014. Withdrawing support meant Microsoft stopped providing security updates.

But it’s not just cyber attacks that can leave a company grounded, as the two-day loss of most flights at British Airways proved. Having fully up-to-date back-up systems that can swing seamlessly into use when the primary system fails is crucial to business continuity.

And 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 adequate steps to prevent data theft.

“Cyber crime is a rapidly growing phenomenon of modern business and one that is very hard to stay one step ahead of. 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).

“The threat of cyber attack grows every day, corresponding exactly with the dependence on computers in most businesses. But the threat is not just one of disruption, it’s also the damage that can be done to corporate reputation and the huge financial penalties companies will face from next year when the EU General Data Protection Regulations come into force.”

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 have still not grasped the cyber risk.”

The East Midlands Cyber Security Conference and Expo, takes place at MediCity, Nottingham, on 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 businesses can make themselves more resilient to cyber crime.

Delegates will not only learn about the essential technical safeguards but will also be encouraged to consider the impact of user behaviour on cyber security.

The event, which has been organised by East Midlands Chamber, is sponsored by Air-IT, an award-winning specialist in supply, installation and support of ICT systems for business. It delivers 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 attack, 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.

“Along with the forthcoming changes in data protection legislation, we’re aiming to give delegates a real insight into the ever-evolving threat landscape and growth in cyber crime. With practical advice, we’ll help delegates understand the growing risks to their business and educate them about the steps they need to take to safeguard their systems and staff.”

Various sessions at the conference will be aimed at different levels of cyber knowledge, ranging from businesses working in the information security industry to firms seeking practical advice on the basic steps they can take to secure their business.

Andy added: “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.

“This event is about bringing that range of expert knowledge together in one place to give local businesses the information and tools they need to recognise the risks and take steps to protect themselves.”

Places at the event can be booked online at