A WARNING has gone out to businesses across York and North Yorkshire after police dealt with a former employee who accessed company records.

North Yorkshire Police say they have cautioned a 43-year-old Harrogate man  under the Computer Misuse Act after he gained access to a former employer’s cloud computing system.

They say that on June 11, the man accessed sensitive emails and attempted to disguise his activity by using the ‘tor’ browser which anonymises web traffic, however he was still able to be identified. He was subsequently interviewed and cautioned for the offence after an investigation by North Yorkshire Police’s Cybercrime Unit.

DC Keith Turner of the Cybercrime Unit highlights the need for businesses to protect themselves from this type of cybercrime.

He said: “Businesses should ensure that when an employee leaves their company, appropriate measures are taken to prevent access to computer systems. This is especially important in the current climate where remote working has become much more prevalent.

“The use of multi-factor authentication and a robust password policy should be considered key tools for the prevention of unauthorised access to computer systems.”

Further guidance and advice can be found on the North Yorkshire Police website and also on the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) website at https://ncsc.gov.uk 

Business owners are encouraged to refer to the NCSC’s ‘Small Business Guide’ for detailed advice on protecting their networks and computer systems.