Cybercriminals target local businessMar 19, 2007
Large corporations have beefed up their security so hackers and fraudsters are turning to small and medium enterprises for easier pickings, Andrew Sheldon warned an audience of business professionals.
Mr Sheldon (pictured), a veteran of thousands of computer investigations into everything from intellectual property theft and fraud to child pornography and terrorism, said it was vital that companies had a policy in place to deal with the threats they faced.
"Some firms have even banned staff from bringing iPods and ‘memory sticks’ into work because they can be used to ‘slurp’ up confidential and sensitive information such as client databases and price lists," he added.
"One successful criminal act can have a devastating effect on a business and its reputation."
Mr Sheldon was speaking at a Biztech seminar hosted by Milton Keynes & North Bucks Chamber of Commerce. He told his audience that security was now the fastest-growing sector of the IT industry. In turn, delegates said that their biggest fears were hackers, identity fraud and the security of their wireless communications.
Mr Sheldon also gave a glimpse into how his company Evidence Talks, based in Milton Keynes, forensically follows the digital footprints computer criminals leave wherever they go.
When faced with an e-crime, the golden mantra was: ‘Step away from the computer’, he added.
"You should never be tempted to take a ‘quick peek’ because you can so easily destroy fragile data. Even switching on the computer can change hundreds of settings which could make any future prosecution evidentially unsound.
"It is a common defence of suspects to say that somebody else must have been using their machine. That is why it is vital to call in the experts at the earliest opportunity so we can secure the crime scene."
Fredi Nonyelu, who runs Cranfield-based technology company Briteyellow and is chairman of the Chamber’s Business and Technology Networking group, said afterwards: "It was very interesting to understand how difficult it is to remove evidence of misdemeanours, and how valuable that can be to a company."