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Cyber crime support for north-east businesses


By Kyle Ritchie

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North-east firms that fall victim to cyber attacks can now access support from a new incident response helpline.

In the face of rising incidences of cyber attacks on businesses and charities, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) in partnership with Scottish Government and Police Scotland has launched the resource.

It aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises targeted by cyber criminals understand what support is immediately available to them and help them recover.

Supporting the new cyber crime helpline are Mark Cunningham-Dickie, SBRC cyber incident and response manager; Jude McCorry, SBRC CEO; and Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham.
Supporting the new cyber crime helpline are Mark Cunningham-Dickie, SBRC cyber incident and response manager; Jude McCorry, SBRC CEO; and Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham.

Since Covid-19 restrictions came into force in March, many organisations have dealt with a sudden increased dependence on technology to support both remote working and a rapid shift to take their businesses online, placing unexpected demands on their cyber defences.

This has resulted in a corresponding rise in cyber incidences for businesses, either through deliberate targeting by criminals or accidental events with unintended consequences.

The free helpline will help organisations confirm they have been the victim of an attack and, if so, provide expert guidance to get them back to secure operations.

Organisations who are concerned about their security in general can also get in touch to confirm they have the right processes in place.

Mark Cunningham-Dickie, SBRC’s newly appointed cyber incident and response manager, will manage the helpline and serve as callers’ first point of contact, filtering calls to other security experts as required.

He said: “There are many ways a business can experience a security incident, with different levels of complexity.

"Whether a cyber incident occurs through deliberate targeting or human error, the end result is the same: a disruptive effect on business operations.”

The helpline is run by SBRC in collaboration with Scottish Government and Police Scotland. They will also work with several trusted external companies around the country who can help in situations where an on site expert is needed.

Deputy chief constable Malcolm Graham said: “Scottish businesses are facing a myriad of challenges this year. We expect the number of cyber attacks to continue to rise as criminals take advantage of businesses relying on technology.

"We are keen to do our part in ensuring Scottish businesses survive this pandemic. I urge anyone with even slight concerns about their organisation’s IT security to call the SBRC and if they think there is criminal activity to report the crime to Police Scotland on 101.”

SBRC CEO Jude McCorry said: “Now more than ever, businesses need to ensure the security of their operations. Through webinars and other outreach programmes, we have worked hard to help organisations understand the importance of cyber security.

"This helpline is the next step towards ensuring businesses get the help they need to recover from cyber incidents with limited impact on their operations and customers.

"With our cadre of security experts and expertise across a range of industries, the SBRC is uniquely placed to help Scottish businesses understand, contain, and recover from cyber attacks.”

Businesses can reach the cyber incident helpline by calling 01786 437 472 on weekdays from 9am-5pm.

More information is available at the SBRC website here

For more local stories read here



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