Local Businesses Must Be Prepared for Cyber Attacks

Local Businesses Must Be Prepared for Cyber Attacks

More than 90 businesses were given some stark facts about the possibility of cyber attacks on their computer systems. Eleven top UK speakers including Europe’s Number One ethical hacker Jamie Woodruff outlined the risks and the realities of being attacked, and provided useful advice on how to conquer the threat during Exeter’s recent Cyber Security Awareness Week.

Mr Woodruff, who is employed by companies to hack into their systems and expose their weaknesses, gave a fascinating insight into the mind of a hacker. His work has included demonstrating the vulnerabilities of world players such as Twitter, Apple and Google.

David Thomas, managing director of Bluegrass Group, who once again organised the event, said there was even more interest this year as local businesses are slowly awakening to the fact that they too could be at risk. The message from the speakers emphasised that small and medium sized businesses are as much a target for cyber criminals as multinational brands. Delegates were shocked to hear the story of an anonymous south west business that was scammed to the tune of £40,000 via an email exchange.

Jamie Woodruff, Europe’s number one ethical hacker and keynote speaker at the Exeter Cyber Security Awareness week

In a live demonstration, a hard drive was dropped into a tank of water and the data then recovered within minutes.
The event now in its second year, featured a full programme of free-to attend seminars, workshops and networking events, with a whole day devoted to the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in May.

Digital Minister Margot James and Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw both praised the organisers for taking the initiative to put on the event. Celebrity Chef Michael Caines said Exeter and East Devon were full of people with energy and vision, while Exeter Airport’s MD Matt Roach applauded Bluegrass Group for creating a very comprehensive event.

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