Businesses in North Wales are being advised to take cybercrime more seriously.
Local security experts say many businesses do not fully understand the dangers posed by online threats with fraud and cybercrime costing North Wales businesses £4million in the last year.
This was the message from the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster, a group made up of cybersecurity focussed organisations, at its recent meeting hosted by Denbighshire County Council.
Helen Williams, from the North West Regional Cyber Crime Unit, said businesses need to be more aware of threats.
“Cybercrime is a big issue. There is a real lack of enthusiasm from businesses to take up cybersecurity advice.
“More and more businesses are operating online so it’s a growing threat. About 80 per cent of cyberattacks can be prevented with really simple measures.
“These attacks can completely destroy a business in terms of its financial operation and its reputation. Businesses need to think about the potential damage these attacks can cause.”
Last week a major cyber-attack caused disruption to popular websites such as Twitter, Netflix and PayPal across North America and Europe.
Denbighshire County Council is helping raise awareness of cybercrime as part of Digital Denbighshire, a programme helping businesses become more engaged with technology.
Stuart Whitfield, Economic and Business Development Officer, said:
“The Council is aiming to increase exploitation of digital technology by local businesses and supporting them to take advantage of the growing broadband network through Welsh Government’s Superfast Cymru programme.
“As businesses increase their online activity they need to be aware of the potential risks to business continuity and sensitive data.
“We will be launching support for businesses to develop their use of digital technology, and grants are available for businesses to purchase software, hardware and develop websites.”
He added: “At the cluster meeting members discussed how cybersecurity is often not seen as a priority for businesses yet simple and low cost measures can be taken to reduce the chances of becoming a victim. The free self-assessment at the UK Government’s ‘Cyberaware’ website is a good place to start. Getsafeonline.org is another valuable source of free guidance.
“Attacks can affect not only businesses but also their customers and suppliers, causing damage to reputation and future relationships.”
Research conducted as part of Get Safe Online Day on October 18, found fraud and cybercrime cost North Wales businesses £4million in 2015/16 with victims of online crime losing an average of £523.