Herts Chamber issues advice to counter cyber-attacks


Briege Leahy, chief executive officer at Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Submitted by Strand PR

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses to follow its list of top tips to combat cyber-crime after a survey revealed a spate of attacks during the pandemic due to homeworking.

A new survey of almost 1,000 UK firms, of all sectors and sizes, has revealed that more than half believe their IT systems have been left more exposed to attack following the huge increase in people working from home during the pandemic.

Research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and IT company, Cisco, also found that one in 10 firms said they had been the victim of a cyber-attack in the last year, rising to more than one in seven for larger firms. Yet despite this, four out of five firms said they did not currently have accredited cyber-security measures in place to protect against attacks.

In response, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce has issued this seven-point advice list to help companies be vigilant against cyber criminals:

  • Make sure your software is up to date
  • Use anti-virus and firewall software
  • Change passwords frequently and do not make them obvious
  • Introduce two-factor or multi-factor authentication
  • Treat emails and phone calls suspiciously
  • Protect personal information
  • Make regular backups

Briege Leahy, CEO of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “While home working has brought many benefits during the pandemic, it has also increased the opportunities for cyber criminals.

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“We are dedicated to ensuring that every member is supported in operating profitable businesses. As this survey from the British Chambers of Commerce demonstrates, cyber-crime poses a growing threat to businesses. We therefore urge businesses to be vigilant and take the measures necessary to protect their business, including following our seven-point advice list.”

Reacting to the findings, Shevaun Haviland, director general of the BCC, said: “The huge shift to home working, and the use of cloud computing, for tens of thousands of employees happened almost overnight, so it is not surprising that many firms were caught out by the implications this had for their cyber-security arrangements.

“All of the BCC’s research indicates that a shift to a more hybrid way of working, with many staff now splitting their time between the office and home, is here to stay, so it is more vital than ever that firms have the right cyber-security protections in place.

“With one in 10 firms confirming they have come under attack in the last year, the need to take action now could not be more important.”

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is working to bolster the long term, economic prosperity and success of the local economy by championing the county and its businesses.

Established in 1924, the Chamber is a privately-run membership organisation proudly acting as the British Chamber of Commerce’s (BCC) Accredited Chamber of Commerce for Hertfordshire.

Mainly supporting SMEs, the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is the largest independent business support organisation within the county and the fastest growing Chamber within the national British Chambers of Commerce network for 2019.

For more information about the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, visit: https://www.hertschamber.com.



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