Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with Danske Bank held a very informative Business Breakfast on Wednesday in The Adair Arms Hotel focused on ‘Protecting Your Business From Cyber Criminals’.
The event, which was attended by over fifty representatives from local businesses, was opened by Chamber President Leigh Heggarty, Galgorm Resort.
After a first class breakfast served by the hotel staff, Leigh welcomed everyone and said how great it was to be able to meet in person and said that ‘The breakfast would be the first in a series of events organised by Chamber to help promote and support business in the area’.
Leigh then went on to introduce the guest presenters Christopher Wynne, Head of Financial Crime Prevention, Danske Bank and Sam Kinkaid, PSNI's Cyber Crime Unit.
Both Chris and Sam went on to explain that Cyber Crime was a real problem across the Province and that it was targeted at both individuals and companies.
Indeed, Sam said that PSNI figures showed this was the most likely crime you will fall victim to at present.
However, the key message from both Sam and Chris was that whilst ' You can't stop yourself from becoming a target for cyber criminals, you can stop yourself becoming a victim'.
Simple steps such as checking the validity of emails or text messages by taking a moment and lifting the phone to call the ‘sender’ and check that it actually came from them.Checking with companies that the bank details sent and the invoice are real – by calling the companies phone number which you know is genuine.
Effectively taking time to check rather than trying to respond right away – especially if being asked for money.
Chris and Sam said that help and advice was readily available from both Danske Bank and PSNI with details being listed on their websites.
Peter Houston, Danske Bank’s Regional Business Manager closed the event by thanking both Chris and Sam for their very informative presentations. Feedback from the guests showed that this was indeed a real issue for many individuals and businesses and the attendees took away several key points to help protect their businesses from cyber attacks.