Ruth Mitchell

North East businesses get help to crack cybercrime

North East accountants are working with academics to to raise awareness of the dangers of cybercrime in the regional business community.

Business advisors RMT are holding a free business networking event on 26 November for small and medium sized businesses at Northumbria University which will include a seminar on Business Continuity and Risk Management.

Stephen Slater, partner at RMT, said: “IT is increasingly becoming the means by which businesses communicate, with PCs storing critical documents and business transactions. Around 52% of UK businesses have been victim to a malicious security incident and 80% of businesses that suffer a major disaster fail within two years so it is advisable to be prepared.”

Workshops will include establishing a risk profile, developing a disaster recovery and business continuity plan, online security solutions, and a layman’s guide to data protection.

Dr Chris Laing, from the Computer Forensics Department at Northumbria University, said: “The data handling infrastructure of large organisations is secure, with risk management and business continuity plans in force and, while large organisations still suffer from online fraud, it is becoming more difficult to undertake. However this may not be the case for the majority of small to medium businesses - small online retailers are more likely to have their websites hosted by a third party and this could present an easier target for a cyber criminal.

“This event is about raising awareness for SMEs and aims to help them address the risks of online fraud, while also providing an insight into the development of risk management strategies and business continuity plans.”

Places for the free event are available on a first come, first served basis and can be reserved by emailing conference@r-m-t.co.uk.

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