An award winning North East based cyber expert has urged businesses in the region to protect themselves from the dangers of a criminal attack on their data systems.

Dr Christopher Tait, MD of Layer 7 IT Security who last year won an award at the prestigious CSX Euro ISACA Conference in London explained why cyber threats were becoming a growing risk to not only business, but the very fabric of the Government’s infrastructure.

“The Internet brings massive benefits in all aspects of our lives. However, there are a growing number of criminals and other individuals who are using the Internet to cause harm to others. It is imperative therefore that any business using the Internet protects itself and ultimately others that may work with them including suppliers, customers and even the Government itself.

Indeed, Minister for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock has recently announced that the Government is placing extra pressure on businesses to adopt its new Cyber Essentials scheme.

The scheme is designed to assist businesses to protect themselves against the ever-growing threat of cyber-attacks, and provides certification demonstrating to their business partners, customers and regulators that they take cyber security seriously. The scheme is mandatory in a number of government contracts and will become more so in many public and private sector tenders in the future.

Dr Tait who was invited to speak at the launch of Cyber Essentials by the then, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Rt Hon David Willetts MP, said.

“More than two thirds of the UK’s small businesses have experienced a cyber-attack in the last 12 months and larger firms are equally at risk too. It’s not just your data that is at risk either, it’s your money and business reputation too. Thankfully,

it’s quick and easy to protect your business with Cyber Essentials as many cyber-attacks can be prevented with simple security measures.

“Everything we do now is dependent on the Internet and a breach by criminals can wreak havoc on the individual business concerned, their customers and potentially cause a major national security breach. I’d urge every business owner to become complaint with Cyber Essentials, it’s not expensive but it could save your business.”