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Home / News & Opportunities / Blog / August 17 / SOPHIA HAYWOOD - BUSINESSES NEED TO FACE THE HACKS

Date: 31/08/2017

Hearing these stories isn’t surprising anymore, there have been numerous high profile hacks in the last two years at LinkedIn, TalkTalk and Wonga, even HBO have been held at ransom after hackers got hold of the latest series of Game of Thrones. Businesses have to face the hacks and take steps to protect themselves and their customers from attack... (couldn’t resist a pun).

A recent British Chambers of Commerce survey found that 22% of businesses in the West Midlands have experienced a cyber-attack in the last 12 months. But despite over a fifth of businesses experiencing attacks, only 25% of firms have the Cyber Essentials accreditation. Taking up the accreditation is one of the best ways and simplest ways to protect your business, whether it’s a tricky virus or someone waging cyber-war on your company.

If your business experiences a data breach or attack, apart from losing money and data, you lose your customers respect, it can stop you trading and also ruin your reputation. As well as this, you might get a fine or even face prosecution under the current Data Protection Act.

We’ve also got the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming our way on the 25th May 2018 which comes with serious penalties for not complying, such as 4% annual turnover fines and up to €20m for the worst breaches. If those numbers don’t make you shiver and think twice about cyber protection – I don’t know what will?

Here at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce we know how important it is for local businesses to be ‘cyber savvy’ and that’s why urging firms to get accredited is in our Chamber Manifesto 2017. Let’s be ahead of the rest of the UK and take cyber seriously.

For more information on getting the Cyber Essentials Accreditation get in touch with locally based IASME.

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Sophia Haywood

Policy Manager

Policy Manager Sophia Haywood is responsible for lobbying, public affairs and representing businesses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire at all levels of government. After graduating with a BA in Modern History and Politics, Sophia worked in the National Assembly for Wales for an Assembly Member and was heavily involved in the day-to-day political life of a politician. Sophia then joined the Chamber as an intern in June 2015 and following the success of her three month placement, was appointed Policy Executive and then as Policy Manager. Since starting at the Chamber Sophia has achieved a Politics & Public Policy masters degree, been appointed a Governor at Herefordshire & Ludlow College and also sits on the local Princes Trust Committee.

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