After months of preparation the launch event of the Humber Business Resilience Forum finally happened yesterday as a part of Humber Business Week. The launch brought together our board members who are from a range of backgrounds – academia, global businesses as well as the police force. The combination of this makes us a huge force to be reckoned with against cyber-attacks and we want to share our expertise with the rest of the local areas.

The launch event focused on how to build internal cyber security as well as targeting external cyber-attacks and 5 of our board members spoke about the importance of building up resilience against both types of security flaws, as well as advising how to tackle these threats and in some cases speaking about how they dealt with these problems –

  • Mr Gordon Meldrum, QPM
  • Dr Dionysios Demetis, Hull University Business School
  • DI Richard Osgerby, Humberside Police
  • DI Geoff Halpin, Yorkshire & Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit
  • Mr Rory Clarke, Director, JR Rix & Sons Limited

Gordon Meldrum QPM is chair of the HBRF. Meldrum is a Non-Executive Director of Hull-based Agenda Screening Services, and a former Director of the UK National Crime Agency. Meldrum is a driving force behind the HBRF and is working hard to share his expertise with the rest of the region. The presentation made by Meldrum focused on the three key areas of the HBRF’s message. These messages are ‘Prepare For’, ‘Respond To’ and ‘Emerge From’, these key areas will teach businesses everything that they need to know about combatting cyber-attacks. Meldrum says that we must be vigilant about preparing for attacks in order to be able to tackle these and respond as we should. Each cyber-attack must be found and resolved in order for the company to emerge from these targeted attacks – at least 80% of cyber breaches can be easily prevented. This particular presentation also spoke about how cyber breaches are not just due to faults with technology, so much so that 50% of security breaches are due to human error rather than any failures with technology.

Dr Dionysios Demetis of Hull University Business presentation focused on tackling problems within technology and how to prevent these from manifesting. The talk focused on how cyber-crime has grown within the last 10 years, so much so that this is now more common than drugs and gun crime. Cyber-crime is so powerful due to the fact that your data can be sold on multiple times, whereas with product-based criminal activity once the product has changed hands then the transaction is over with. The growth in technology means that it controls everything within our daily lives – this has resulted in a ‘perfect cyber security storm’ which is something that the HBRF hope to protect businesses from.

There were two presentations made by members of the Police. These were made by DI Rich Osgerby from the Cyber Crime Unit of the Humberside Police and DI Geoff Halpin who is the Detective Inspector heading the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit. One statistic that really stood out from DI Halpin’s presentation is that 150k worth of jobs were lost across Europe as a result of cyber crime. Osgerby focused on the problems that they are currently tackling within the local area. Here are some headlines of local cyber issues that have occurred recently –

  • 3,183 reports of cyber crime in the 2nd half of 2015
  • There is an average of 531 cyber enabled fraud reports each month
  • The Humber is the 28th highest force area in terms of reports being received
  • The biggest loss in the reporting period was £350,000
  • East Yorkshire has more reports than the North, West and South Yorks
  • KCOM are currently experiencing 10-15 credible attacks per day
  • 63% of local cyber attacks are currently experienced by businesses rather than individuals

Both members of the police force were very keen to have cyber security incidents reported to them – the more that they know then the more they can do for the local areas.

There was also  presentation made by Rory Clarke of J R Rix and Sons. This particular presentation was a very honest report of Clarke’s personal experience of how businesses can easily become susceptible to cyber-attacks even with cyber security in place. The talk was particularly engaging as it was about a live event that had happened with Clarke reporting on how his business was targeted in January and Rix came very close to losing £750K. Read more about this story here.

We ended the presentation with an interactive Q&A session between the board and the attendees of the event. This brought up a lot of questions about reporting any instances of cyber crime, questions about access to resources and the benefits of becoming a member. Membership is something that we will be reviewing in the coming months, currently the process is to fill in the contact form on the website, or you can email us directly at info@hbrf.co.uk. Until the end of 2016 we will be offering free membership and we will review the offerings of this shortly. Thank you to everyone who attended the event yesterday – we look forward to hearing your feedback!

This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, Humber Business Resilience Forum , its directors, members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.