After the NHS cyber attack and IT meltdown which affected many organisations simultaneously last weekend, the special guest presenter at May’s meeting of The Boardroom Network Solent could not have been more apt.
More than 70 members and visitors – our lifeblood! – made the most of growing professional business connections through two table swaps and three short presentations by members.
- Copywriter and editor Sue Hughes brought a wry political twist to her slot, stating that written words featuring promises were flying around in manifestoes all over the place at the moment, before looking at where strong and stable content writing skills might fit into an existing marketing strategy or a new venture.
- Pam Bates went next; as local ambassador for Venus Awards Hampshire she urged us to think about nominations for the range of categories. The Awards were set up to recognise and reward the efforts and achievements of women in business and have been very well received, generating thousands of nominations over the years.
- Chris Rees, event director at Rees Leisure, is the man behind the new Southampton Sailing Week, aimed at putting Southampton on the map – or chart! It will culminate with a Parade of Sail. He discovered fewer than 25 per cent of Southampton people had been on the water (including ferry travel), a surprising statistic.
However, the main presentation, by DS Ivor Bowen from the Hampshire Police Special Cyber Protect & Security Unit, proved topical, salutary and highly relevant. He pulled no punches and his talk was a wake-up call.
“The police need help. If you look at the NHS attack last weekend you realise data and information are your most important assets. Cybercrime is here now; you need to get into the mindset to protect your data. You have to help yourself because if I ask you ‘what do you use the internet for?’ you will reply ‘everything’.
“Customer data and financial data are sent online, but you don’t know how it gets to its destination. If your data becomes compromised it can shut down your business. Data drives the economy.”
Crimes range from fraud and ransomware to data/IP loss and equipment theft.
Criminals range from insiders (colleagues) to organised crime gangs and hacktivists.
In 2016, 54 per cent of businesses were hit by ransomware, therefore the message is ‘be prepared, have a plan, be strong on password management – and back up’.
Words: Sue Hughes Copywriting & Editing suehughesltd.co.uk