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Sussex Chamber of Commerce Policy Updates

Sussex Chamber Policy Updates

Message From National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

Monday 15th May 2017

Since the global coordinated ransomware attack on thousands of private and public sector organisations across dozens of countries on Friday, there have been no sustained new attacks of that kind.  But it is important to understand that the way these attacks work means that compromises of machines and networks that have already occurred may not yet have been detected, and that existing infections from the malware can spread within networks.

This means that as a new working week begins it is likely, in the UK and elsewhere, that further cases of ransomware may come to light, possibly at a significant scale.

Our national focus must therefore be on two lines of defence.

The first is to limit the spread and impact of the attacks that have already occurred.  Due to broad government and partner efforts, a variety of tools are now publicly available to help organisations to do this.  This guidance can be found on our homepage – ncsc.gov.uk – under the title Protecting Your Organisation From Ransomware: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance

We know already that there have been attempts to attack organisations beyond the National Health Service. It is therefore absolutely imperative that any organisation that believes they may be affected, follows and implements this guidance. We have set out two pieces of guidance: one for organisations and one for private individuals and SMEs which can be applicable regardless of the age of the software in question.  It will be updated as and when further mitigations become available and we will announce when updates have been made on Twitter (@ncsc) and elsewhere.

Secondly, it is possible that a ransomware attack of this type and on this scale could recur, though we have no specific evidence that this is the case.  What is certain is that ransomware attacks are some of the most immediately damaging forms of cyber attack that affects home users, enterprises and governments equally.

It is also the case that there are a number of easy-to-implement defences against ransomware which very considerably reduce the risk of attack and the impact of successful attacks.  These simple steps to protect against ransomware are not being applied by either the public or organisations as thoroughly as they should be.

Three simple steps for companies to undertake which are also set out on our website(https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware) and can be summarised as follows:

Protecting your organisation from ransomware - NCSC Site

www.ncsc.gov.uk

How does ransomware infect your system? Computers are infected with ransomware via a number of routes. Sometimes users are tricked into running legitimate-looking ...

 

1.       Keep your organisation's security software patches up to date

2.       Use proper anti-virus software services

3.       Most importantly for ransomware, back up the data that matters to you, because you can't be held to ransom for data you hold somewhere else.

Home users and small businesses can take the following steps to protect themselves: 

1.       Run Windows Update

2.       Make sure your AntiVirus product is up to date and run a scan – If you don’t have one install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor

3.       If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up – You can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else. 

In the days ahead, the NCSC, working closely with the National Crime Agency in support of their criminal investigation, and with international partners in both other governments and the commercial sector, will continue our round-the-clock effort to get ahead of this threat.  We would like to reassure the public that resources from the Government, law enforcement and public and private sector organisation are working together to manage further disruption from the current attack and to increase protection against any further attacks in the coming days. The country's security and law enforcement agencies are working round the clock to protect the public. Private sector efforts have made a very significant contribution to mitigate the cyber attacks so far and to  prevent further disruption.

We will provide further updates as and when appropriate.

 


Businesses Want Action On Rail Disruption

09th January 2017

Today Chambers from the South East of England met with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Rail Minister Paul Maynard to discuss the ongoing rail disruption. Speaking together after the meeting, representatives from Hampshire, London, Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley Chambers, said:

"Business communities and commuters across the South East of England are impatient for action after nearly a year of unpredictable and costly disruption. While firms have taken every step possible to support staff affected by strike action, businesses and local economies are hurting. It is incumbent upon all parties in the dispute to come to the table and reach a durable solution."

 

Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), added:

"Business communities elsewhere in the UK are also watching with great concern. A wave of further rail strikes like the one in the South East would hit investment, job creation and confidence - and undermine the livelihoods of millions of people."

 

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

“London businesses and commuters are facing a double-whammy this week as they face disruption from both train and tube strikes. A resolution between all the parties involved in these actions is needed urgently to prevent further and unnecessary disturbances to workers in the city and surrounding areas.”


South East Region Airport Capacity

David Sheppard, Chairman of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce comments:

We are fundamentally and completely in favour of Gatwick over Heathrow and will continue to tirelessly support Gatwick in this regard. Irrespective of which airport is chosen, our priority demand is that work starts quickly and the prevarication ends in order that the region has its additional capacity in place to meet our business needs. The British Chambers of Commerce Director General called the Government’s delay gutless, a view I think we can all sympathise with. Despite this, let us hope that the continued delay tilts the balance in favour of Gatwick.


Sussex Chamber of Commerce address the 2016 Budget Announcement

Comments from David Shepard, Chairman and Ana Christie, Chief Executive.

For Sussex businesses todays statement looks to be a positive budget which is providing some significant benefits around a reduction in business rates, the removal of commercial property stamp duty in some areas, reduction in capital gains tax, reduction in corporation tax, abolishment of NICs for self employed together with a further freeze on fuel duty. These are not all immediate but phased over the next few years.

As far as we can see there are no additional burdens on our business community although there is a significant tightening up on tax avoidance for larger corporate companies.

In general this is providing a breathing space for businesses in the run up to the EU Referendum and together with a global uncertainty and volatility is creating a great deal of business insecurity.

From an individual’s perspective the new thresholds on personal tax allowances and new lifetime ISA will be greatly welcomed.

However we are really disappointed on behalf of the South East that there was a complete focus on investment and devolution in the North, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, East Anglia and the Midlands areas of the country with no mention of the South East or Sussex apart from Southampton regarding sugary drinks.

Although todays employment figures are positive the Chancellor downgraded UKs productivity forecast and businesses have to be careful that new employment does not just increase costs and therefore decrease global competitiveness.