Summit to tackle cybercrime epidemic hitting Scots business

SBCC's Gary Ritchie had a warning for businesses
SBCC's Gary Ritchie had a warning for businesses
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A CYBERCRIME summit in Edinburgh next month will reveal how it is now costing Scottish businesses an estimated £5 billion a year.

The e-Crime Scotland Summit will outline how cybercrime is a constant and real threat for all businesses and will spell out what steps firms should take to reduce their vulnerability and exposure to risks.

e-Crime Scotland is hoping the summit – supported by Royal Bank of Scotland and Scottish Enterprise - will match the successes achieved by the pioneering work of E-Crime Wales which has made significant progress.

Gary Ritchie, assistant director of the Scottish Business Crime Centre, said: “With the many benefits that accompany the latest developments in technology, sadly there also evolve new and potentially devastating criminal interests in this area.

“Cyber crime is not a fad. It is a clear and present danger for all businesses, regardless of size or sector. We estimate that Scots businesses are losing around £5bn a year to cyber criminals. That is an enormous amount that should concern every boss and employee in Scotland.”

Ritchie said the threat of e-crime can be tackled by simple and inexpensive measures.

“The key is for businesses to not think this is a techy issue or some evolving trend that won’t involve them, but to put in place the measures to stop the threats,” he said.

One of the most common risks faced by businesses is poor IT security which potentially allows criminals to raid contacts, steal identities and infiltrate bank accounts.

But a UK government report said that anti-virus software and firewalls could help reduce their risk of online crime by 80 per cent. The summit takes place at the RBS headquarters at Gogarburn near Edinburgh on 22 May.