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07 August 2017 at 12:47 BST

Edinburgh festival hosts cybercrime warning for arts organisations

The world famous Edinburgh Fringe festival is the perfect opportunity for cybercrime, a local law firm warns.

Jane Rix

Leading independent Scottish law firm BTO Solicitors will take to the stage at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Instead of comedy, the law firm will talk on 'Cyber Risk and the Entertainment Industry'  with  partner Paul Motion, head of BTO’s Technology and Data Protection teams, highlighting the cyber security risks to which members of the performing arts community can be especially vulnerable when participating in the Fringe and other events.

Golden opportunity

With thousands of transactions taking place every day in temporary box offices and venues with limited IT security, as well as free unsecured Wi-Fi being accessed by hundreds of people, the Fringe can be viewed as a golden opportunity by cyber crooks. Using his wealth of knowledge and experience, arts companies need to deploy risk management solutions to help both performers and attendees guard themselves from cybercrime.

Ever-increasing threat

Commenting on the importance of the subject, Paul Motion said: 'Cybercrime continues to be an ever-increasing threat to workers and festival goers alike. An event which is hugely popular like the Fringe offers cyber crooks an abundance of opportunities to obtain data and money from both vendors and customers.' He went on to warn: 'Due to the nature of the festival, vendors are usually set up in temporary bars, stalls, box offices and venues with limited IT security, which can compromise the safety of transactions. The ramifications can be twofold for vendors – not only do they face financial loss themselves, but reputational damage if customers are targeted. The convenience of free but unsecured Wi-Fi is another factor, with many people accessing personal, financial and sensitive information which can be easily intercepted by experienced hackers.' 

Free show

The free show will take place in the Lecture Theatre at Fringe Central (Venue 2), located at Appleton Tower on the corner of Crichton Street and Chapel Street.  The dates are Monday 7 (10:30 – 11:30), Friday 11 (15:00 -16:00) and Sunday 20 August (16:00 – 17:00). Tickets for Cyber Risk and the Entertainment Industry are free and can be obtained at the door of Fringe Central or online at: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/cyber-risk-and-the-entertainment-industry


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