Barclays Bank Want To Stop Cybercrime

UK banking giant Barclays has launched a campaign to help small business owners stamp out cybercrime. The bank has seen a rise in sophisticated fraud with criminals increasingly targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 
 
This includes using “social engineering” with emails or phone calls impersonating people such as suppliers, staff members or even chief executives, tricking victims into giving out information or making payments. 
 
The bank also commissioned research from YouGov into the extent of the problem. The findings were unveiled last month at a cyber-skills masterclass for Barclays Business Banking clients hosted by England football legend Sol Campbell, who has himself been a victim of cybercrime. 
 
The research showed that almost half of SMEs surveyed (44 per cent) had been targeted by fraudsters, with approximately one in four (23 per cent) of those targeted having fallen victim. The average cost of a fraud to a business was almost £35,000 and, in two thirds of cases, the businesses had to cover these costs themselves, money that could otherwise have been invested in jobs, training or new equipment. 
 
Barclays has calculated that cyber-crime has directly resulted in the loss of more than 50,000 jobs among Britain’s SMEs to date. 
 
Consequently, Barclays is stepping up its mission to educate SMEs about the growing risks of fraud and cyber-crime, investing more than £18m over the past two years on its national “Digisafe” campaign, which has already engaged five million people. 
 
The bank has also prevented over £857 millions of potential fraud and scams, more than £35 per customer, in the last year.
 
"As an owner of a small business that has fallen foul of cyber criminals, I’m particularly keen to raise awareness and show fraudsters the red card" said Sol Campbell.
 
“With a rise in online crime, it’s more important than ever that businesses keep an eye on the ball when it comes to cyber security. In business as in football, you have to be strong, versatile and flexible, and as a defender, you need to trust your natural instincts. 
 
"If an email or call sounds fake, check it. Playing as a team and training are vital in business as well as sport. Managers should invest time letting staff know about the dangers of scams." 
 
Campbell’s top tips to help SMEs show fraudsters the red card are: 
 
• Strong defence: The best way to keep attackers out is a strong password. It's much harder for fraudsters if you use lower and upper case letters, along with numbers and symbols. 
• Build a wall: Protect your computers with anti-virus software, as well as a good firewall, and keep software updated regularly. Delete unsolicited emails with links and attachments. 
• Call offside: If something feels wrong speak up and check it. Don’t assume a call, text, email or invoice is genuine, fraudsters can sound convincing. 
• Pay by the Rules: Have a clear procedure for making payments in your firm. Always check email requests to make payments or to change payment instructions by calling a trusted number, not by return email.. 
• Team Talk: Every team is only as strong as your weakest link. Boost tactical knowledge and share guidance with your team.
 
Andy Gornall, head of SME at Barclays Business Banking in the North West, said: “We’re on a mission to educate all small businesses about the growing risk of cybercrime and fraud. 
 
“The staggering cost of these crimes can stop a small business from investing in new jobs, training or equipment, in turn boosting local economies. 
 
“However, the good news is that the vast majority of fraud against businesses can be easily prevented by taking certain simple steps to increase security.”
 
It’s incredible to think how far business technology has evolved over the past few years, and how our reliance on connectivity and data storage has increased. Yet, our knowledge of how to protect ourselves and our business from cyber-threats is still lagging behind. Almost half of businesses in the UK suffered a cyber-breach or attack in 2017. When you consider that a cyber-attack is now 125 times more likely to occur than a fire, but is potentially just as catastrophic to the business, why are we not treating online threats with the same gravity? 
 
Holding a cybersecurity audit at least annually is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re in the best shape you can be
when it comes to data protection and cyber-security. 
 
This should include vulnerability scanning and penetration testing in which ethical hackers look for weaknesses to exploit and hack into your systems. Once you know where these weaknesses lie, you’re in a better position to strengthen your defences. 
 
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is certainly progress in the right direction and has pushed data protection to the top of the business agenda, but does the legislation go far enough, when it comes to, cyber-defences? Keeping your business safe online is absolutely essential to avoid reputational damage as well as data and financial lost. It should be a key focus for all businesses in 2018.
 
MEN:
 
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