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Five Star cyber protection for businesses

27 June 2016

A North East training manager is spearheading a national campaign to get firms to protect their IT systems and be one of the most security conscious firms in the UK with the launch of a new training programme designed to protect businesses of all shapes and sizes from the real threat of cyber crime. 

Newcastle based Nick Atkinson of Inteltrain is launching the new Cyber Stars initiative, which has been specially designed and developed by cyber security experts from industry, Government and Defence to address systematic failures in cyber security knowledge.

One of the findings of the development team is particularly worrying for SME's. Despite experts warning that they pose just as much risk as the larger organisations, the majority have chosen to adopt a "head in the sand" approach. Hackers often go for smaller businesses as they represent softer targets but they may also be in the supply chain for larger organisations where the real threat is. For example, a secretary in a factory supplying parts to a defence contractor may be infiltrated and that person's IT systems are then used to gain access to systems higher up the supply chain.

The average cost of cyber crime is reported at £1.46 Million for large organisations, £310,800 for SME's and as EU regulations come into force in 2018, the prospect of fines of up to £20 Million or 4% of a businesses turnover are a costly expense for security breaches that compromise customer data.

The Cyber Stars initiative is an onsite one day course which gives an organisation wide understanding of cyber security to enable the business to operate safely online. It also gives an effective cyber security strategy to implement within the organisation.

"This course is for everyone in the business and as such we believe it is every bit as important as first aid, manual handling or other similar courses, think of this as cyber health and safety training for your business." said Nick.

"A staggering 80% of breaches can be foiled through basic precautions. These range from having policies in place around the use of mobile working, acceptable use of mobile devices and storage media through to downloading of files. An organisation could have the most robust cyber security plan in place but if staff aren't adequately trained to follow the basic housekeeping rules or how to recognise a threat, the organisation becomes very vulnerable. Even a memory stick in the wrong hands can cause chaos."

The cyber stars initiative is a solution to the education and awareness problem and encourages company wide knowledge of the threats from the cyber world. It also offers an excellent professional development opportunity for employees.

Cyber Stars is the country's only accredited Level 2 training programme aimed at all staff within an organisation from receptionist to boardroom. The Level 2 Award in Cyber Security For Business is accredited by OFQUAL.

Firms who embrace the initiative can use the Cyber Stars logo to let other companies know that they are responsible custodians of data who value their IT security as well as that of their clients and supply chain.


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