North East leading expert urges action over cyber crime figures
A North East leading expert on cyber crime is urging local businesses to rethink company systems and information security in the light of the latest official statistics.
Steve Nelson, head of technical services at Newcastle-based Calibre Secured Networks Ltd is a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) - one of only a handful of CCIEs in the world who hold a dual specialism in routing and switching and security.
He was commenting on a Government report* which reveals the cost to the UK economy from cyber crime is £27bn per year.
The report, one of several highlighting the threat of cyber crime, indicates that although virtually everyone is at risk, it is business bearing the brunt of the costs.
Over three-quarters of the economic impact of cybercrime in the UK are felt by commerce – a total estimated cost of £21bn.
Indeed, the real impact and cost could be even higher as not everyone reports incidents or is aware that they are under attack.
Recently recognised by Cisco for his 10 years of service, drawing on his 20 years’ experience in IT, Steve, who is also a Certified Ethical Hacker and Offensive Security Professional, says many North East firms are unaware that they are also targets of cyber criminals and need to act swiftly.
He believes that IT security is one of the biggest threats organisations of all sizes face today – some organisations are receiving hundreds of attacks on their systems on a daily basis.
“Organised cyber crime has become an industry, showing staggering maturity but companies like ours have responded, investing heavily in highly skilled and talented people who can deal with the growing threats.
“In my experience, thousands of businesses across the North East will be at risk from the criminals, costing them dearly in terms of financial loss and damage to reputation.
“Owners and managers need to be far more proactive about the issue rather than simply reacting to an attack which could come at anytime, day or night.
Experience working for companies such as BT, Virgin Money and HBOS among other multi-nationals reinforces the need for more strategic planning and investment in resources and security systems and processes, says Steve.
His team of experts provide a niche service not available elsewhere in the region, drawing on 30 years’ collective experience in IT security to see an increasing demand for locally based security skills and consultancy.
The expertise he they brings helps companies to close a widening knowledge gap as they fight to keep pace with changing threats and find it increasingly difficult to find suitably skilled personnel required to address vulnerabilities across a company’s network.
Certified to ISO 27001 (information security), Calibre utilises the latest know-how, advanced technology and software systems from Cisco and other leading vendors to design and develop integrated and bespoke security solutions.
These solutions not only protect systems which operate and control email accounts, IT and internet equipment, Voice over IP and other services from cyber attacks but also improve productivity, save money and provide peace of mind.
The company is currently running a campaign aimed at local business leaders to raise awareness of cyber crime activities and promote the advantages of ensuring security is inherent in every aspect of IT.
* The Cost of Cyber Crime: joint industry and government report