Scots companies are facing a ticking timebomb – unless they get a grip on the ever increasing use of mobile devices and make better use of security features and advice.
The warning, from the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), will be a key theme of a national conference –Trading Securely for Business – which is being billed as the most comprehensive event to be held in Scotland to tackle the menace of cyber crime.
Hosted by the SBRC, the conference will feature talks from global industry experts, examples of leading tech products along with dramatic demonstrations to highlight the battle that is being waged against all forms of e-crime.
SBRC Director, Mandy Haeburn-Little is encouraging businesses of all sizes to attend and to gain practical advice, in particular, on how to combat the risks that increased use of smartphones, tablets and laptops can pose.
She said: “Mobile devices are now the go-to for everyone who wants to work remotely, to buy goods, to sign-up to groups or to connect with their friends and families.
“It all points to how we believe that unless businesses make better use of the fantastic advances in security features and advice, mobile devices will be the greatest threat to business resilience over the next five years.
“It is incredibly easy for an individual or business to fall victim to cyber crime via a mobile device through the people or staff downloading apps without thinking or not having any secure firewalls. Anyone who buys a product through a mobile device or uses it for work is also at risk of losing their personal data if they use unsecure wifi networks, particularly is they use free networks to back up data.
“It runs the risk of confidential data being stolen which could cause crippling financial or reputational costs.”
A recent Ofcom report characterises the move by consumers towards mobile devices, with 33% of people now reportedly considering the smartphone as the most important device for getting online.
Similarly, according to a recent Ponemon survey, more than 75% of businesses allow employees to bring their own personal device to work for processing business information.
The Trading Securely for Business conference will feature live demonstrations from tech industry experts Sophos and SensePost, as well as the SBRC’s own crack team of Ethical Hackers – who routinely highlight weaknesses in business’s networks – allowing them to address and limit the risk of a criminal attack.
Mandy added: “Late last year we helped launch the cyber resilience strategy for Scotland, which has helped to deliver a new, unified approach to tackling the threat to businesses and consumers from e-crime
“This conference will help build on recent progress and we are very excited to be able to bring together what we think is the most comprehensive conference to address cyber crime in Scotland.”