Cyber hit the national headlines last week after companies in 150 countries suffered from a ransomware attack that affected the NHS, telecoms companies, railways, banks, cinemas, universities and other companies across the world.

Locally, Cyber Crime is fast becoming the biggest threat to the business community. A British Chambers of Commerce survey of 1200 businesses released in April 2017 showed that 20% of companies have fallen victim to a cyber attack in the past year. 21% said they believe the threat of cyber crime is preventing their business from growing and only 24% said they had cyber security accreditations in place.

With cyber security high on the agenda, local businesses are encouraged to protect themselves from future attacks with Cyber Essentials, an online self-assessment offered through Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce in partnership with leading accreditation body IASME.

The scheme consists of five elements which are estimated to stop up to 80% of cyber attacks; Boundary firewalls and internet gateways; Secure configuration; Access control; Malware protection; and Patch management. It costs £300+VAT for the basic assessment, or £400+VAT for an additional IASME Governance assessment against the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  

Hallmark Hulme LLP, Solicitors based in Worcester, took advantage of the scheme. Julian Powell, Business Director, said: 

“As a law firm, cyber security is extremely important to us to protect our client data and funds. The Cyber Essentials certification is a straightforward process and key to maintaining an effective IT system. It helps us stand out as a law firm that is serious about protecting our clients.”

Business Crime is a key priority in Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s manifesto for 2017. Local businesses need to be proactive about cyber security and Cyber Essentials is a great way to cover the basics and boost the confidence of clients.

To find out more about Cyber Essentials and to apply, visit www.hwchamber.co.uk/cyberessentials



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