This month’s members event was held at The Birch Hotel on Tuesday this week. On a very cold morning, snow was in the air as I drove up from Brighton, yet it seems that no-one was deterred from coming for breakfast with colleagues and friends. After half an hour of eating bacon rolls, drinking and networking we sat down to hear the presentations. There were 45 people in the Sussex Room as we began, a fine turnout indeed.
The main presentation was by Alex, a Barclays guy and cyber security expert who had come up from Bournemouth that morning. He spoke passionately about cyber crime and how to combat it. He showed various examples of scams, fraudulent claims and phishing, giving lots of anecdotal examples of people who had been tricked by cyber messages. His was an excellent presentation showing clearly how vigilant people and businesses have to be when working online.
Chrissy Park, another Barclays employee, gave us an insight into the work of the Eagle Lab, situated at Preston Circus in Brighton. Not only do they provide back up including a free webinar on cyber security issues and fraud, but they also offer space for small businesses to start up. At present they have 12 businesses renting out space in a supportive environment where they have every chance of prospering and growing.
The audience were rightly very impressed and in some cases shocked by what they had heard about the threat of cyber crime. They were also impressed with the manner of the delivery of the presentations, and rightly so.
After warm applause and a round up by the Coordinator of upcoming events, the networking began again in earnest. People were still there long after the scheduled end of the event, which is always a good sign.
I spoke to Patrick, the guy in charge at the Birch, to thank him once again for his generosity and far sightedness in hosting the event for us. He is the most genial chap, who I believe recognises the link between encouraging businesses to come to the hotel and in turn seeing them sometimes later using the hotel when they have guests from out of town. That is how it should work, and it’s always pleasing to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. We really appreciate the support of The Birch Hotel in our efforts to promote business in Mid Sussex.