Alarming rise in cyber crime in Dorset – Tips to stay safe

Dorset Police Cyber Security expert Chris Conroy spoke to Dorchester Chamber members about the current threats to businesses and individuals.

In his presentation Chris shared alarming facts including, In the last year within England and Wales there has been 1.7 million Computer Misuse Act offences (hacking, malware)., and 80% of all fraud in the UK is considered cyber enabled.

Chamber president Peter Greenaway said: “Chris gave an excellent and informative presentation offering advice on how to protect ourselves and our businesses from this fast growing type of crime.  Many thanks to Chris for his time and also for forwarding a PDF version of his presentation, which is now available using the link below and contains all the contact information for members”.

Ten tips to prevent business fraud

Remember these ten simple tips to reduce the risk of business fraud and keep your business and staff safe.

1. Be sceptical

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Thoroughly question all:

  • deals
  • opportunities
  • documents
  • transactions
  • information

2. Know your business inside out

Have a thorough understanding of your business so you know:

  • how it operates
  • the staff you employ
  • the products and services it provides
  • your target market and your business
  • your legal and regulatory obligations

This will help you realise immediately when something isn’t right.

3. Know your customers and suppliers

When you understand who you do business with you can spot any business request or transaction that looks wrong for that customer or supplier and may be fraudulent.

Conduct due diligence using a risk-based approach, such as checking the customer or supplier details you have on file, as well as online searches.

4. Identify areas where your business is vulnerable to fraud

Imagine how a fraudster might target your business, both internally and externally, and test the systems you already use to reduce risk. Make sure you and your staff know those systems and regularly review them.

5. Develop a strategy and talk about fraud

Think about the right fraud prevention and detection strategy for your business: it should detail controls and procedures.

Staff look to owners and managers for guidance to acceptable behaviour. Talk about fraud with your staff, suppliers and other contacts. Your staff need to understand the risks and how losses affect the business and themselves.

6. Take extra care against cyber attacks

With increasing threats from cybercrime, protect your business technology against attacks. Make sure you back up your systems in case they go wrong.

7. Understand your finances

Understand how money leaves your business, including:

  • methods of payment
  • who has authority to make those payments
  • who checks payments are legitimate

Always check your bank statements.

8. Secure and protect your property

This includes laptops, computers, smartphones and intellectual property. Factor in business insurance to cover these items if they’re compromised or stolen. Use and maintain inventories.

9. Develop an action plan

Consider when you might need professional or legal advice. While prevention is better than cure, it’s important for you and your business to be prepared for the worst. Having an action plan in place will help limit your losses to fraud.

10. Always report fraud and get help

Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. You can also get information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

See the presentation from our breakfast meeting here: Dorset Police Cyber Crime presentation – Dorchester Chambers

More advice can be found here: