Lincolnshire businesses join forces to fight cyber-crime
Businesses across Lincolnshire have joined up to fight back against cyber-attacks.
The new Lincolnshire Cyber Security Forum has brought together a host of agencies, industry experts and local business leaders to help protect their organisations from cyber-crime.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is behind the drive for better cyber protection, with support from the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Lincolnshire Police.
The first meeting was held at Bishop Grosseteste University on Wednesday and was attended by more than 50 representatives from local businesses, charities, colleges and universities.
12 million cyber crimes are reported across the UK every year but incidents are massively under-reported.
Cyber-crime can be any offence which has been committed by using a computer.
In the business world, hacking, distribution of malware or ransomware and simple phishing emails which attempt to steal information are the most common forms. This information can then be used by criminals to commit other crimes such as fraud.
FSB Lincolnshire co-area leader and partnership manager from LAGAT college, Mike Johnson, said:
“As Chair of the new forum we are hugely encouraged by the positive response we have seen at the launch and are confident the forum can quickly establish itself as an important tool in the fight against cyber-crime.
“Following the excellent feedback today we are now planning the next event for mid-July and this will focus on cyber essentials. Understanding these means that a business truly recognises the risks and threats of cyber-crime, so having cyber essentials can only be good and it will encourage other businesses to work with them.”
PC Luke Casey, from the force Cyber Crime Unit, said: "We are really excited to have had so many people from local businesses in one room today with each talking about their experiences and sharing where their companies are at in terms of protecting themselves against cyber-attacks.
“This group is a brilliant opportunity for us all to learn about each others experiences. We will build up a better intelligence picture about cyber-attacks in Lincolnshire and we are sharing anonymous case studies about incidents that we have investigated. By sharing experiences, we are better prepared against those that wish to steal information or finances from behind their own computer screen.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: "The fact is it is increasingly difficult for many hard working business people to keep pace with the changes and keep their businesses secure. They cannot manage this alone and we can’t simply enforce our way out of it.
“Education of our staff is crucial. Giving staff the skills to protect themselves, and the businesses they work for, also gives them the tools to protect their own family at home.
“This forum will share skills and learning and that is the way forward. Today is a start and I support this forum and its goals wholeheartedly.”
This first meeting was attended by PCC Marc Jones, Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson, the FSB’s chair of the Ministry of Justice Policy Unit Neil Sharply, police cyber-crime regional co-ordinator Robert Pugh, PC Luke Casey from the force cyber-crime unit, Daniel Westlake from design and technology company Cursor and the UK head of the Cyber Specials Cyber Volunteers programme Greg Stevenson.
For more information about Cyber Crime go to: https://www.lincs.police.uk/reporting-advice/cyber-crime/
You can keep up to date with the latest news from the team by following @CyberLincs and to contact the team for support, email: Cybercrime@lincs.pnn.police.uk