Is the explosion of social media and the availability of personal information placed online causing more cyber fraud?

Is the explosion of social media and the availability of personal information placed online causing more cyber fraud? And how can we work together to stop it?

We were extremely excited to have been invited to speak at the BQ live debate entitled: Is the explosion of social media and the availability of personal information placed online causing more cyber fraud? And how can we work together to stop it? An interesting title which opens up a whole host of questions.

Paul Whitehouse, Barlcays’ relationship director, had hosted the evening at Worcestershire Cricket Club.

Being on the other side of the table was a nice change. I usually take great pleasure in speaking to customers; understanding their issues or concerns, assessing what we can do to help and of course hearing their view of cyber security and how well protected they are.

But this was something I hadn’t experienced for a long time; being in a room full of such like-minded individuals, a think tank of how we can tackle cyber crime, was thoroughly enjoyable. With such a diverse range of individuals the thoughts about what needs to be done was, as you’d imagine pretty divisive.

Education was deemed to be a big factor but so was technology. Ultimately if we need to drive behaviour we need to force the habit; if you need to ensure that your documents are password protected for example, then you have to encrypt them and ensure that passwords are entered before they’re opened. The same can be said for accessing data on the network – put the appropriate measures in place to ensure that the data is safe.

One point that was made by Chris Gould, a partner at EY was that those that see the value of our information isn’t those that are using it daily but the criminals that see the value for commercial (albeit illegal) gain.

The other big issue that came up was consumerisation of IT. Our data is now everywhere, both in our personal and business lives this means that with the click of a button our data can be shared. The cyber criminals have the same, if not better technology.

Something that was unanimously agreed upon was that cyber-crime is a business and the criminals have got the business to operate in an organised and efficient manner.

And this was where this conversation differed from some of our customer conversations. Cyber crime is a business and so adopting the ‘it’s not going to happen to us’ stance is a bit like saying I’m never going to be sold to.

Whether it’s email, web, mobile devices or your business network you are vulnerable.

Overall, the BQ live debate provoked many interesting viewpoints and was a great opportunity to meet people from the industry. Thanks BQ!