Welsh businesses prepare for e-crime summit after a quarter are victims of online fraud

A quarter of Welsh businesses have been a victim of e-crime in the last year.

The Wales Benchmarking Survey was carried out on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government's Europe-leading e-crime Wales Unit, which is to hold its fifth annual summit at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on 21st October 2009.

Already confirmed are speakers from PayPal, CryptoCard and 7Safe. It has also taken steering advice from four Welsh police forces, the Home Office Team in Wales and a number of security vendors.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, deputy first minister of the Welsh Assembly and minister for the economy and transport, said: “The effects of e-crime can be devastating in terms of loss of reputation, downtime and business continuity which directly impacts the bottom line. This impact causes unnecessary headaches to business owners who need to concentrate their efforts more than ever on running their businesses.

“Wales has taken a lead on the fight against e-crime and in ensuring businesses are able to secure their future.  We now have designated police officers in the four police forces and have produced a series of tools – website, literature, guides and policies - all of which are available free of charge to help businesses and individuals secure their systems.”

Andrea Barnard, police liaison officer for North Wales police, said: “Businesses across Wales face potentially devastating and ever-changing threats from e-criminals.

“Almost two thirds of respondents in the benchmarking survey who had attended previous summits said they had changed their approach to data security following the event. Business people's time is always valuable, particularly in a recession and this data shows time would be well-spent at the e-Crime Wales Summit 09.”

Meanwhile Simon Lavin, a senior Welsh Assembly Government civil servant, has been elected to a top post in the European organisation responsible for driving forward the adoption of new and enabling technologies across the EU regions.

Lavin, an e-Business strategic planner at the Assembly Government was chosen by representatives from over 40 regions to be vice-president of eris@ - the European Regional Information Society Association.

Brussels-based eris@ brings together regional representatives from the various EU states to share ICT expertise and accelerate economic and social development through digital technology.

Professor Gareth Hughes, chief executive of eris@, said: “Wales continues to play a key role in recent ICT developments in the EU, including the development and deployment of emerging technologies through its networks to promote better information sharing between Wales, its counterparts across Europe and the rest of the world.”

Lavin said: “My role at eris@ will ensure that Welsh businesses gain the full benefit of Europe's expertise through learning about other countries' experience and sharing our own.”

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