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Focus on cyber security

An expert is warning businesses to place more importance on cyber security.

Phil Brown, senior associate solicitor in the Commercial team at regional law firm Napthens, reports that businesses may not be aware of how crucial the issue is.

The Office for National Statistics estimates there were 2.46million cyber incidents in 2015, but less than 750,000 were reported to Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre – and the Information Commissioners Office only received 200 notifications in respect of data breaches.

The National Crime Agency has just published its 2016 Cyber Crime Assessment which Phil says makes ‘nervous reading’ for businesses. The report says cyber crime costs the UK billions of pounds per year, and that technology is outpacing the response to such crimes.

Phil explained: “This report, together with almost daily news on hacks and security breaches, exposes a real issue which affects not just big businesses.

“The big question is whether this threat is being taken seriously by businesses. A recent report highlighted a number of barriers to improving security, including under-reporting and limited engagement by senior management – especially amongst SMEs.

“Businesses should look into working with technical and legal experts to carry out cyber security reviews, covering both internal policies and procedures and, just as importantly, looking up and down the supply chain to identify vulnerabilities and risk.

“With proposed legislation looking to increase fines significantly, and a number of high profile attacks where the estimated cost is in the millions including reputational damage, share price reduction and updating systems, it’s clear cyber security should be a priority.”