Manchester businesses under attack online

Article date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 12:00 GMT

Lawrence Jones with the evenings other speakers

The websites of UK businesses are constantly under attack according to Lawrence Jones, MD of the city's top Internet hosting company. Worryingly, the vast majority of businesses do not take the threat seriously and need to place more emphasis on their online security.

Jones, whose company UKFast is the ISPA's Best Hosting Provider, spoke to a selection of Manchester's businesses last Thursday as part of an evening about E-commerce. In his session on Internet hosting, Jones gave a stark warning to delegates about securing and protecting customer data and their websites uptime.

The event organised by the Manchester City Council, the Manchester Digital Development Agency, the Manchester Business Consortium and Vanilla Storm also covered development of websites, payment systems and legal aspects.

“Manchester's online community is constantly under pressure from hackers all over the world,” says Jones. “At our data centre facilities we have automated systems and engineers working 24 hours a day to keep various threats such as Spyware and Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks away from clients systems.”

Jones told the seminar delegates that 90% of DDOS attacks were committed by disgruntled ex employees or wronged clients. Attackers flood company websites with data causing them to grind to a halt, which can be hugely costly for an e-commerce business as “uptime is money.”

Manchester businesses are also under attack from criminal networks that use Spyware to take control of machines and add them to botnet communities, which wreak havoc across the Internet.

“It's amazing how many businesses go against our advice and refuse firewalls, patch management and back-up services,” says Jones. “A thriving online business has a duty to protect its customers and its own interests by securing its online prospects as it might a high street shop. Would you leave the door open at the end of the day with the keys to the safe on the side?”

What is clear is that businesses are beginning to appreciate the warning. So much so that this series of seminars will be repeated in the city centre early in the New Year with a view to moving further a field in the Greater Manchester area afterwards.

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