Small businesses face growing cybercrime threat

Lancashire’s small businesses are at greater risk from cyber-crime than larger enterprises, an IT expert has warned.

Justin Sherwood of Seriun told an audience at Lancashire Business View’s latest networking event: “A smaller business has potentially more to lose.”

He added: “They could lose not only their data but customers, through the loss of reputation, as well as the loss of money.”

Justin also warned that criminals looked to breach smaller business’ security as a way of getting inside their customers defences.

He was part of a panel debating the issue that included Paul Castle of N3bular (UCLan) and Phil Brown of Napthens solicitors.

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Paul said the biggest threat to any organisation was its own people and said staff training and awareness was an important weapon in combating the cyber-crooks.

He highlighted the ways criminals target individuals through methods such as phishing emails and creating conversations.

Phil warned that SMEs could even find themselves facing fines over security breaches if they failed to take measures to protect their customers.

The event, held at EKM Systems headquarters in Preston, also heard from Gillian Bardin, director of city-based wealth management expert Taylor Patterson, part of the national Mattioli Woods group.

She took them through the journey of the business, from MBO to successful sale to an AIM-listed business and shred her views on the importance of a team approach.

The audience also heard of the role that her lifelong association with the Girlguiding movement has had on her business and leadership approach.

Gillian said: “It gives girls confidence and teaches you about all the possibilities that you can achieve whatever you set out to do.

“As you go through the ranks you learn leadership and management skills; how a team dynamic works and how to trust people.” The event, for the launch of the November/December edition of Lancashire Business View, attracted delegates from across the county.