Business organisation to offer support against cyber crime

Businesses in Bury St Edmunds will be able to access resources to help fight cyber crime thanks to the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds BID.  The BID has joined the Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre (ECRC) Community, which offers support including signposting to Government guidance on cyber threats and webinars and other events about the growing risk of cyber crime.

Chief Executive of Our Bury St Edmunds BID Mark Cordell recently met staff from the ECRC to discuss the vulnerability of businesses to scams whether online or in person.  The organisation works in collaboration with police forces in the region as well as assisting businesses and their staff to have the right strategies to respond to incidents efficiently.

Highlighting the importance of work to combat cyber attacks and scams Mr Cordell said: “The UK cyber crime statistics are truly shocking – 50% of businesses have been a victim of cyber crime and the average cost of a cyber attack to a company is more than £3,200.  Therefore, it’s vital that we support our member businesses in any way we can to reduce this happening in Bury St Edmunds.”

Our Bury St Edmunds BID is currently the subject of a ballot of businesses in the town over whether it should continue until 2030.  While it is unlikely that this could be a subject for an opportunist criminal, the organisation is advising businesses to err on the side of caution.

Mark Cordell added: “While we are happy to discuss any aspect of the ballot process with our member businesses, we will only do so at a time convenient to them and will not be using canvassers but BID staff members who will already be known to the businesses.  If anyone who can’t be verified by the BID does turn up unexpectedly at their premises to discuss the ballot, I would advise them to exercise caution.  It’s quite possible it could be some sort of distraction technique and nothing at all to do with the BID ballot.”

Efforts to reduce the impact of crime and anti-social behaviour on town centre businesses is a key element of the business plan for the next term of the BID. Mr Cordell commented: “Having spent the earlier part of my career with Suffolk Police I am very aware of the devastating effect criminals can have not just on businesses, but on the hard-working people who run them.  Of course, some types of crime have changed since I was an officer – hence the need for cyber security experts such as ECRC to offer support and assistance – but others like distraction theft sadly are still going on.  Like pretty much everywhere else in the country, Bury St Edmunds has seen an increase in shoplifting recently – figures show that across England and Wales it went up by nearly 40% in 2023.  So, I make no apology for reminding people to always be on your guard and while, of course, the vast majority of customers will be genuine, if you believe someone has targeted your business then report it at the earliest opportunity.”

Businesses who want to discuss the BID ballot and what it will mean for their premises are welcome to contact the Our Bury St Edmunds BID office on 01284 766258.  Similarly, if they wish to check anyone calling at their premises claiming to have information about the ballot is genuine, they should call the same number.

Posted 3 weeks ago