Why size doesn’t matter when it comes to cyber-crime

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

Good banter

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Plumber/Electrician

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Strictly come dancing

Favourite Holiday

Crete

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Methodical, Energetic, Reliable

An interesting fact about me

Started “Work” life as an opera singer

Likes

Horse riding, fillet steak and a good curry

Favourite Band

…into Classical Music

Karaoke Jam

Desperado- The Eagles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team, are heading.

I’m still very much focused on the customer and will often get involved in customer solution discussions. As a techie at heart, I’m regularly seeking to understand industry developments and directional changes that may affect our customers, so we and our customers can remain on the front foot.

Background and Achievements

I started out in an I.T technical department of what was then British Rail, following which I joined a large construction company to re-organise their I.T infrastructure.

I then spent a couple of years as a business systems analyst at P&O Nedlloyd designing, developing and implementing systems within their Bulk and Tank Carrier companies.

In 1999 I was appointed as I.T Manager of SockShop and subsequently as of Head of I.T. at the Tulchan Group, comprising then of 300 stores. Due to a Year 2000 compliance issue, we were required to seek an alternative system, which we were able to more cost effectively write ourselves. This product subsequently became known as RAWHIDE and we later sold this product into a number of other businesses. At the time it was quite cutting edge as all the warehouse function was undertaken using handheld, wireless scanners, rather than the batch scanners that were dominant at the time.

In 2003 The Tulchan Group was acquired by Harris Watson. We were then asked to take responsibility for the I.T. of Viyella Ladies wear and in 2004 the demands of two MD’s and two FD’s (Tulchan Group + Viyella), resulted in the sensible decision to break out of the group and Q2Q was born. This then enabled us to also get involved with a number of other group companies (Harris Watson owned companies) as well as other non-group parties.  At one stage we were managing the I.T for almost 500 stores across a number of businesses.

Today Q2Q retains some of the group customers that we acquired along the way, as well as a substantial number of new and diverse customers in almost all industries including accounting, business development organisations, legal marketing, medical, retail and wholesale.

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running (Jogging), motorbikes, reading any of the Detective Rebus stories.

Cyber-crime is an issue that undoubtedly spans the globe and with an ever-accelerating rate of technological evolution, it’s no wonder that incidents are becoming more commonplace – not to mention increasingly sophisticated! But is it really an issue that all organisations need to be concerned about?

The no-frills answer to that question is yes. Cyber-criminals don’t discriminate between business types or industries – and they certainly don’t let size put them off either. Whether a multinational corporation or a regional start-up, cyber-attackers show no mercy.

It’s in this respect that SMEs shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security and think that cyber-criminals won’t target their business – threats are around every corner of the digital minefield, and attackers are sure to strike if a firm’s guard is down.

All businesses hold valuable data

Whether its millions of patient records or a handful of email addresses in a customer database, the vast majority of companies hold some form of critical data in their IT systems. This is arguably the primary reason why cyber-criminals don’t favour any one organisation over the other – essentially, any data is valuable data.

SMEs should therefore recognise that they’re in the same league as bigger brands when it comes to cyber-vulnerability and accept that they are just as tempting to hungry hackers looking for their next information feast.

Every organisation has employees

Ironically, SMEs that barricade their IT systems against external hackers aren’t necessarily preventing attacks from happening. Whilst implementing security measures is of course important, it shouldn’t be presumed that cyber-threats always occur externally.

New research has found that 38% of IT security incidents occur through actions taken by their employees – something we’ve explored before. And with more flexible, on-the-move working taking place in modern-day businesses, it’s no surprise that public Wi-Fi hotspots are one of the biggest cyber-crime enablers out there. That’s why it’s more important than ever that companies realise the work that needs to be done to ensure that their workforce is the strongest – rather than the weakest – link in their cyber-security strategy.

It’s true that staff who are not up-to-date with the latest threats – or who don’t know how to use their work devices in a safe way outside the office – are potentially leaving the door open to cyber-criminals searching for unprotected data. To help avoid the this from happening, SMEs should therefore take the time and effort to properly educate and train their workforce around the issue.

Everyone faces the financial backlash

Since the new GDPR legislation was implemented in May, all companies now have to adhere to the new legal grounds for obtaining and storing sensitive data. In the event of any personally identifiable information being lost or stolen, firms face incremental fines of up to £17 million or 4% of their global turnover.

At the end of the day, whether a business has five or 5,000 employees is irrelevant – if any critical data has been compromised, the Information Commissioner’s Office will investigate each incident with the same breach checklist and allocate penalties accordingly.

Perhaps then, the most important message around the issue of cyber-crime is that no business is safe from becoming a target. But if a company takes all of the possible steps to secure and protect themselves against the threats – starting with creating a robust IT policy – they’ve got a better chance of deterring the online crooks.

Are you looking to arm your SME against cyber-criminals? Why not get in touch with the Q2Q team to arrange a cyber-security and network assessment?

Why size doesn’t matter when it comes to cyber-crime