Learning About Cybercrime At Tees Valley Business Club

Top Image Credit: Handpicked Hotels

Cybercrime is a HUGE problem. In 2015 alone there was an estimated 2.5 million incidents in the UK. The British government addressed the seriousness of the issue in their 2015 ‘Strategic Defence and Security Review’, making cybercrime a Tier 1 priority akin to domestic terrorism, antibiotic resistance and major natural hazards.

Tees Valley Business Club’s partner for their October event was Barclays. They were invited to speak and provide insight into the size and scale of cybercrime, a hacker’s mindset and how to reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack. The Combined North East Police Cyber Crime Unit were also invited to give more of a regional slant on the topic, providing information on how to report such crimes.

Presentation from Detective Sergeant Martin Wilson, Combined North East Police Cyber Crime Unit


After a couple of short introductions, the first presentation was delivered by Detective Sergeant Martin Wilson from the Combined North East Police Cyber Crime Unit. He highlighted how crime is changing and evolving with a bias towards cyber observed. He also opened a question to the audience that I thought was really intriguing. He asked “when was cybercrime or online hacking first featured in a Hollywood film?”

I was thinking something futuristic like Blade Runner or Star Wars in my head. It was actually in The Italian Job, released in 1969; WAY ahead of its time.

He also detailed some of the different types of cybercrime including phishing, trojans, ransomware etc;  It’s actually quite overwhelming how vulnerable systems can be; especially systems we all rely on for our businesses.

You can follow the North East Cyber Crime Unit on Twitter here – @nerccu.

Presentation from Andrew Dixon, Digital Engagement Manager, Barclays


The next presentation was from Andrew Dixon, the Digital Engagement Manager from Barclays. He said that you should treat your online security just like your offline; you wouldn’t leave your house with your front door left open would you? Putting it into context, many of us do often  leave our ‘digital doors open’. Barclays have made extensive online materials available including simple tips to help  improve your personal and your businesses cyber security.

Andrew also talked about the ‘hackers mindset’ of effort/risk vs reward. Unfortunately, mass un-targeted email phishing scams that we’re all used to seeing are very easy to set up and often convert into a valued, risk free reward for the cyber criminal.

I think if we took  anything away from his presentation, it should be that our cyber security must replicate what we do for our real world security.

Final Thoughts


Both speakers  reiterated the importance of reporting cyber crime and fraud. You can do it via @actionfrauduk‘s Twitter page – it really is that simple! You should also check the health of your online systems to prevent any potential damage to your business. 

We’ve wrote a previous account of one of the Tees Valley Business Club’s events. That time the theme was celebrating the success of Middlesbrough’s Bedford Street redevelopment which you can still read here.


The Tees Valley Business Club hosts fantastic business networking events across Teesside throughout the year. Visit their website to find out how you can become a member.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Expect to see a lot more Northern business features coming soon!

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