UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) West Midlands, with national law firm DWF, and information security consultancy firm, Aristi, is hosting a free seminar in Birmingham on December 10, which aims to arm small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and medium-sized businesses (MSBs) with the latest information to protect their data and assets. Christine Hamilton, acting regional director of UKTI West Midlands, said it was vital that businesses were prepared for a potential cyber attack.

“Cybercrime is a fast-growing area of concern for SMEs, with more criminals exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities.

“SMEs need to be prepared against a potential threat and understand the actions they should take to prevent cyber attacks and protect valuable data.

“This valuable seminar will surprise delegates because they may not believe they could be a target or they may think that they already have in place sufficient systems to counter such an attack.”

According to the 2014 Information Security Breaches Survey, 33% of small companies had reported a security breach, which had cost them between

£65,000 and £115,000, and 45% of SMEs suffered from infection from viruses or malicious software in the previous 12 months.

Arun Chauhan, joint head of DWF’s Fraud & Risk team, said:

“For businesses trying to grow by importing/exporting, having sufficient security to protect your IT systems and data against cyber risks is really important. 

“Picture this: you are the managing director and owner of a company with a turnover of £3 million. A week ago, your IT systems were hacked resulting in your customer information being stolen including their bank account details. You had to notify your customers immediately about the cyber attack and that they were open to fraud given that the hackers had access to their personal information. 

“Your company’s reputation has been severely damaged by the cyber attack and the subsequent press, which has resulted in reduced sales.

“This is a very real situation for businesses, which are targets of cybercrime as well as other types of fraud. You may think that this will never happen to you but a cyber attack can have devastating consequences.  Depending on the severity of the attack, some businesses will be unable to recover.”

The event, which will include a presentation of the key cybercrime threats and a live demonstration of the ease of gaining access to data, takes place at DWF LLP, One Snowhill, Snow Hill Queensway, Birmingham from 10am until 1pm, with lunch and refreshments provided. To register for the event, visit: