Peterborough companies face hefty fines for cyber-crime security failure

George Smith of Kamarin Computers.
George Smith of Kamarin Computers.

A stern warning has gone out to hundreds of businesses in Peterborough that fail to protect themselves against cyber criminals.

Companies will face maximum fines of 20 million euros - or four per cent of their annual turnover - once European compliance rules - the general data protection regulations (EUGDPR) - come into force in May next year.

Andrew Heeler, a partner at Hegartys Solicitors.

Andrew Heeler, a partner at Hegartys Solicitors.

The alarm was sounded at a cyber security seminar held at Peterborough’s Holiday Inn West and attended by scores of company representatives.

Delegates were told the regulations, which have taken four years to prepare, seek to reshape the way organisations approach data privacy and penalise those that fail to take action.

Joe Cooksey, business digital expert from Barclays, said; “Implementation of EUGDPR puts the onus very firmly on companies to tighten up their cyber security defences, or face punitive fines.

“Ninety eight per cent of businesses could not survive a day without their important business data, yet only 26 per cent of businesses back up their data regularly.”

Speakers, who also included James Boyle, of Kamarin Computers, and Andrew Heeler, a partner at Hegarty Solicitors, explained that while there is no set strategy for preventing cyber crime, there are a number of measures that will improve protection.

The warning comes shortly after George Smith, managing director of Peterborough software experts Kamarin Computers, revealed the firm gets 10 calls a day for help from companies that have become victims of cyber hackers who have accessed vital data.