Representatives from across the business community and the public sector have their chance to make their voices heard at a first of its kind event in Northern Ireland.
At the event, held today (29 March) at Belfast City Hall, the Northern Ireland Business Crime Partnership has brought together leaders from industries as diverse as retail, banking, leisure, hospitality and healthcare to hear first-hand the harsh effects of cyber-crime and what can be done to combat it.
Cyber-crime is the fastest changing and fastest growing area of criminal activity that affects business. Using computer technology, criminals attempt to commit different types of crime, ranging from the theft of personal information, the transfer of financial assets to the seizing of business computer systems for ransom.
The event was a chance for the business community to inform the justice community response to this ever changing and growing threat.
The event will also see the Northern Ireland launch of the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Cyber Security Toolkit.
Speaking at the event Dr Hugo Rosemont, Policy Adviser on Crime at the BRC said: “Cyber-attacks on business are doubly damaging in that there are two sets of victims in crime of this nature – both the customers (whose data is hacked or money stolen), and the businesses themselves.”
Speaking on behalf of the Business Crime Partnership, Chief Superintendent Chris Noble said: “The volume, complexity and impact of cyber-crime is a growing threat to personal and business safety and security. The PSNI has invested significantly in its capacity to investigate Cyber Crime in all its guises and formats but the number one priority is to prevent harm or loss happening in the first place.
“We know that cyber-crime, whether dependant or enabled, will continue to cross boundaries and morph to avoid detection and prevention, so a string and dynamic partnership between the business community and law enforcement agencies will be key to responding to this challenge.”
Business Crime Partnership member, Aodhán Connolly, Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said: “This event has proven the need for businesses that have or want to have an online presence to be vigilant. In our industry alone, more than half (53%) of retail fraud now originates online according to our annual retail crime survey. With this event it is clear that there is a need for clear and decisive action which has been evident in the response from both the business and justice communities.”