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Clamping down on cyber crime

Date 13 Nov 2007

In association with RMT Accountants and Business Advisors

In the last two years, more than 40% of micro and small businesses (MSBs) have been a victim of cyber crime.

This includes internet scams, identity fraud, phishing and data theft. A recent survey showed that over one third of MSBs have had to deal with a computer virus, and almost a fifth have been the victim of some form of internet scam.

For comparison, this rivals more 'traditional' IT problems such as a broken or damaged PC (36%), and dwarfs traditional forms of crime – only 3% had had to deal with a lost or stolen PC.

This year, for the first time, the government sponsored initiative Get Safe Online (GSO) will be addressing the challenges that MSBs face and GSO week commenced on Monday with various activities around the country.

RMT Accountants & Business Advisors is a supporter of the GSO initiative in the North East and through its membership of the International Association of Accountants Innovation & Technology Consultants (IAAITC), has been working with the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) to deliver a simple and effective preventative measures for MSBs.

Stephen Slater, Partner with RMT Accountants said: "Micro and small businesses are failing to implement proper security and continuity plans as they are perceived to be too complicated and expensive. The result is that when disaster strikes, as it did this year with the floods around the country, many of them suffer an unnecessary disruption to their business.

"So we will be holding a security workshop on Thursday 29th November to help businesses understand the challenges and implement effective strategies to prevent and deal with an IT crisis. For many it will just be a question of understanding their risk and implementing fairly simple plans."

Almost a fifth of firms surveyed said that IT downtime caused them a definite or probable loss of revenue, with an average figure of £1,540 per incident cited. Although this is not caused by online threats alone, they are a significant contributor and businesses face a potential loss in excess of £750 million in revenues across the MSB population as a whole.

For further information on this initiative and events please visit: or call 0191 256 9500.

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