Growing number of businesses are becoming victims of online crime ; Company helping firms to increase cyber security [Lincolnshire Echo (England)]
(Lincolnshire Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A Lincolnshire IT solutions firm is claiming that cybercrime is hitting growing numbers of county businesses.
There has been a "huge increase" in the number of SMEs seeking advice on how to protect themselves, according to Stuart J Green Digital Engineering.
In a bid to help, the Market Rasen-based firm is among the first to get Government backing to help businesses increase their cyber security, under a new scheme. From October 1, all companies and organisations that hold sensitive personal information will need new Cyber Essentials accreditation, earned by improving security.
Stuart Green, managing director at Stuart J Green Digital Engineering, said it is a much-needed step for Lincolnshire businesses increasingly struck by damaging malware, viruses and infections.
"We are seeing it in all shapes and sizes. From complete business devastation to mildly annoying malware," Mr Green said.
"For some, they have been attacked or infected and they don't know.
"These are the problem children who act as conduits to crime - they could be participating on the next cyber-attack against a major installation and be totally oblivious that their broadband connection has been hijacked.
"For others, they know they have been attacked because they have seen the effects. This could be as simple as a notice appearing on their screen telling them that all of their data has been encrypted or they could actually experience someone on their premises, using their WiFi, looking in to their PC-based tills.
"We've gained customers who have had both of these happen to them."
Clicking links within emails is still a common way of infecting computers, according to Mr Green.
He said fake anti-virus software pop-ups on websites are also causing problems, and even phone calls are still being used, with callers purporting to be helpdesk workers or internet providers wanting to fix and speed up services.
Mr Green said retailers and even businesses with free WiFi must also be vigilant.
"Worryingly, we got a new alert covering the next wave of malware for tills and electronic point of sale systems which will scrape credit card information from the till," he said.
"How many businesses don't lock their doors or don't shut their windows at night? I bet every single one does, and they will have alarms and shutters too.
"But they don't switch their broadband connection or WiFi off at night so there is an open path into their business. If a business owner doesn't take precautions then it is not a matter of 'if ' they get hit, it is 'when." However from October 1, companies and organisations holding sensitive personal information will need the new Cyber Essentials mark.
There are two benchmarks - the Cyber Essentials award or Cyber Essentials Plus - which businesses can meet.
Stuart J Green Engineering has won the right to award the certification on behalf of the Government.
Mr Green added: "More and more larger companies are getting the Cyber Essentials award and will insist that their supply chain, which could consist of small businesses has this award too. It is going to become a very hot potato."
HANNAH GILBEY firstname.lastname@example.org @HannahGilbey_LE
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