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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber's cyber security lead to speak at free event

Leading cyber security and data protection experts will brief owners and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises at a free event in Derby next month.

Chamber patron Air-IT is hosting the event on Wednesday 7 February, at Derbyshire County Cricket Club.

It aims to help local businesses prepare for changing data protection legislation and learn how to increase their resilience to the increasing threat from cyber attacks.

Among the speakers will the Chamber's Business Crime Manager Andy Watterson, who will talk about 'creating a culture of cyber security'.

He said: "With technical security controls becoming ever more sophisticated, online criminals are increasingly seeking to exploit “non-technical” weaknesses to target businesses.

"I'll be talking about the importance of having a properly trained and briefed workforce when it comes to combating cyber attack by examining the dangers of employees unwittingly or carelessly circumventing existing countermeasures, the link between physical security and digital security, how to help staff understand their role in cyber security and how to ensure all staff remain vigilant when it comes to crimes such as data theft and ransomware."

Andy's talk will provide guidance on how to embed a cyber security culture within your workforce while implementing the technical and procedural safeguards to mitigate the risk of inattentive staff.

Andy works with businesses and strategic partners across the East Midlands, including the police and local authorities, to promote awareness of all aspects of business crime including theft, fraud and cyber crime.

In addition to his policy work, Andy runs a number of seminars, workshops and conferences, to bring businesses together with industry experts to learn about key issues and share best practice.

As the Digital Economy Fellow for the British Chambers of Commerce, Andy chairs the BCC Digital Expert Panel and informs policy activity on digital issues across the national Chamber network.

In a recent survey looking at cyber security breaches, the Government reported that 46% of UK businesses had incurred at least one attack to their systems.

Existing data protection regulations in the UK will be replaced by the more stringent - and more punitive in the event of a breach - EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) from 25 May.

Businesses are being urged to review their data processing systems and practices to ensure compliance before that date.

In partnership with a panel of expert speakers from across the UK, local business leaders will hear views from a range of industry specialists including law enforcement as well as policy, risk and accreditation providers.

The event will be led by Sam Reed, Air-IT’s Chief Technology Officer, who will discuss the technical controls needed to protect IT systems.

Also a GDPR Certified Professional, Sam was recently appointed head of Air-IT's new specialist cyber security division, Air-Sec.

He said: "The cyber landscape is forever evolving and with GDPR being enforced in May businesses must plan for compliance now.

"Our panel of speakers will provide professional, practical and impartial advice that will help delegates understand the risks they face and the safeguarding steps they need to take to protect their business and staff from cybercrime and how to best prepare for GDPR."

Companies that fail to protect consumer data could be fined 20m euros or four per cent of global turnover, whichever is the greater.

To avoid disappointment tickets must be booked in advance. Please visit www.air-it.co.uk/it-training.

For a summary of GDPR, click here.