Cybercrime Wake Up Call for Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors

On Thursday 23 May, at the West Herts College Campus in Hemel Hempstead, Business Ambassadors met at their latest event for a series of presentations including cyber fraud, courtesy of Barclays Bank, and on the business support services provided by Dacorum Borough Council.

Samiul Hussain, Digital Engagement Manager, Central London, Herts & NWL and Essex & NEL Specialist Client Solutions for Barclays Bank gave an interesting and informative presentation on ‘cyber fraud – protecting your business’, discussing why it matters and shocking statistics that show just why businesses should care.

Hussain briefly took the Ambassadors through the best practice framework recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and showed numerous video clips explaining clearly how the different types of phishing, vishing, smishing and impersonation fraud can be so easily implemented by criminals.

Impersonation fraud is evidently becoming more refined, more subtle and cleverer than ever before and organisations must be aware and on guard. Hussain said, ‘The challenge now is education rather than technology.”

His presentation was backed up by some compelling statistics:

  • The average cost of a breach is £35,0001
  • 44% of businesses surveyed have experienced an attack1 – probably closer to 75% now
  • 95% of losses are attributable to human error2
  • Cybercrime cost 50,000 jobs1

Chris Taylor, Group Manager, Strategic Planning and Regeneration, and Lesley Crisp, Assistant Team Leader, Strategic Planning and Regeneration, for Dacorum Borough Council also spent some time talking through the services offered by Dacorum Borough Council to support and retain businesses in the Borough. This included the Council’s commitment to encouraging local entrepreneurs, with significant investment in the Maylands Business Centre and Kylna Court business incubation units and the Dacorum’s Den initiative – now in its 8th year this grant funding scheme has awarded £70,000 to local businesses and created 67 jobs.

Dacorum Borough Council and the Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors will be co-hosting an investment showcase in October and interested parties are invited to connect with Gary Stringer

The next Ambassadors meeting will take place on Thursday 18 July at Astley Cooper School.

Jean McLeish, Chairperson for the Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors concluded the event: “I think everyone in the room learnt something from Sam’s presentation – it is rather alarming to consider that a hacker could spend an average of 231 days in a system before anyone was even aware of a breach!”

For further information, visit or contact Gary Stringer, Ambassador Place Manager, on tel: 01442 228808.

1Barclays commissioned research to tackle SME cybercrime, published 25th April 2018.
2Get Safe Online and Action Fraud figures, based upon crime report to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau totalling a business loss of £1,079,447,765 between 31/03/2015 and 31/03/2016.

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