https://companieshouse.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/06/prevent-cybercrime-attacking-your-business/

Prevent cybercrime attacking your business

We recently met with Cyber Crime Protect officers from South Wales Police to understand how Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) work with businesses to promote the reduction of cybercrime.

TARIAN is the ROCU for South Wales, and it was interesting to hear how they, and their counterparts around the UK, regularly work with small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as charities and local government in raising awareness of the threat of cybercrime.

Tarian logo.

80% of cybercrime is preventable by taking simple steps to secure your cyber security. Falling victim to cybercrime can be devastating for your business.

Small, or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99.9% of Britain's 5.5 million private sector businesses, and there’s a 50% chance of these experiencing a cyber-security breach. This represents a real threat to the UK economy.

5 easy steps to protect your company

The ROCUs have a direct link to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the NCSC has produced a cyber security guide for small businesses. The NCSC guide suggests taking 5 easy steps to protect yourself, which include:

  • backing up your data
  • protecting your organisation from malware
  • keeping smartphones and tablets safe
  • using passwords to protect data
  • avoiding phishing attacks

Improving your cyber security

If you want or need to improve your cyber security you can seek certification under the Cyber Essentials scheme, which has the benefit of demonstrating to your clients (or prospective clients) you take the protection of their data seriously. And if you're a larger business (or face a greater risk from cybercrime) then the 10 Steps to Cyber Security can further aid your approach to cyber security.

If you're a victim of cybercrime it is important to report it to the police. Cybercrime is not undetectable, and there are numerous cases across the UK where law enforcement have successfully prosecuted cyber criminals.  The reporting mechanism in the UK is through Action Fraud which you can contact at: https://actionfraud.police.uk/ or 0300 1232040.

Reporting known fraud and scams

It’s important to remember the Companies House website also offers some advice on reporting fraud and known scams. Scams we’re aware of include bogus requests for late filing penalties, bogus email requests to verify a Companies House password.

Protect your company from corporate identity theft with our protected online filing (PROOF) scheme. It’s free, and it’s easy. It prevents the filing of certain types of paper forms including changes to your registered office address or director details.

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3 comments

  1. Comment by James Robertson posted on

    I find it ironic that Companies House is giving advice about identity theft, given that you publish all the information necessary for such theft - INCLUDING SIGNATURES!
    I totally appreciate and support the need for transparency, freedom of information and accountability to the public. However I can see no logical or valid reason for publishing my my actual signature on your website especially when this signature is on a form which relates to a Debenture which has now been satisfied in full.
    Whilst I can understand that the public record for my company should still include details of the Debenture which was once in place, I have NEVER understood why Companies House need to publish my signature - even more so now that all reference to the Debenture is purely historical. The ICO is very sympathetic, but claims to have no power to intervene as Companies House have dispensations which are so vague that publication of my signature is not actually unlawful. However it IS entirely illogical and unnecessary and I would be grateful if Companies House could please explain to me what possible purpose is being served by the publication of my signature - other than to facilitate Identity Theft. The only response I have ever had from Companies House is, in effect, we publish your signature because we CAN, but I have yet to be given a reason to justify WHY you are putting me at such risk of identity theft.

    • Replies to James Robertson>

      Comment by Jason Pawlin posted on

      Hi James,

      Under the Companies Act 2006, section 1080(1) states that the Registrar is required to keep records of the information contained in documents delivered to him. These records form the public register.

      Section 1087(1)(i) says that the Registrar must not make email addresses, identification codes or passwords used for electronic filing, available for public inspection. There is no corresponding exclusion for signatures. The Registrar has no authority to withhold signatures from public inspection.

      If you choose to file documents online, electronic authentication replaces the need for a signature.

  2. Comment by R McDonald posted on

    Well done with your comment. It is clear that as a person working within I.T.
    and fraud investigations, if it was not for signatures on Companies House documents being seen on the records, I would have not been able to solve a number of cases.

    Some of these were for small companies who have been defrauded and could have cost the directors their business and possibly their home.

    The signature helped me identify the difference between true and fraudulent handwriting.

    HRMP