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Exclusive Interview with Stephen Jones, MD of Bowden Jones Solicitors

Stephen Jones, MD of Bowden Jones Cyber gives Business News Wales an insight into the Cyber Security Industry. He gives advice on what Welsh businesses could be doing to help protect themselves from cyber crime.

Can you give our readers a little background into yourself and your role within Bowden Jones’ Cyber Law division?

I am the MD and Martyn is a Director. We started CyberLaw as a result of increasing cybercrime generally and because as leading criminal and corporate Lawyers we had an insight of the real threat landscape well before the present publicity levels of now. We are all trained Cyber Lawyers and some of only a very few lawyers in the country that have extensive experience and training in Cyber. I am also MD of the largest Cyber security training company in the world. Before that and now I have extensive experience of all manner of cyber legal work, private prosecutions and defence in cases worth millions and often of national importance, IP protection, data protection and regulatory work in Cyber

What are your plans for the next five years, and where do you see your challenges and opportunities?

Cyber now accounts for 70% of all crime. More than 70% of all SMEs in the UK have been subject to attacks. Cyber is the future and the future is here and now. This is about to explode with the IOT and increasing reliance on cloud technologies.

Looking back at your career, are there things you would have done differently? 

Yes, I would have not involved myself in publicly funded work which although fundamental to a robust legal system and a cornerstone of our legal system has been massively neglected and eroded and essentially has put justice out of reach for the ordinary people. The lawyers that remain in this area are pushed to breaking point and they are to be applauded for the hard work and vital work they do on margins that are literally impossible to sustain.

What do you think are the most important qualities for success in business?

Understanding your market and your product. Strict financial controls and understanding of your whole organisation no matter how big or small, honesty and integrity is vital and always treat others how you expect to be treated and you won’t go far wrong. In my businesses, the business is the people and I never forget that.

What are your top three tips for success?

Hard work, more hard work and never give up.

Are there any innovations within your sector that you believe should be adopted by the wider Welsh market?

Yes, we are already way behind the rest of the UK who have Cyber retraining Academies who have proper cyber policies in play for our children’s futures, are developing schools programmes, and so on and so on. We are doing nothing at all in wales other than hoping for the best we have a real opportunity to be at the forefront as we already have some great Cyber companies and experts in wales and the govt needs to wake up and smell the coffee and not miss the opportunity.

Do you foresee any issues that Welsh business will be facing in the short/medium/long term?

 70% of all business being attacked millions in losses and no police or any other resource to stop it. We need to educate and self-help as no one else is coming to the rescue.

Do you have any predictions in regards to the impact of Brexit on your sector?

The EUGDPR is inevitable and we will have to adhere to it come what my cyber does not know boundaries. Crime knows no boundaries and international co-operation is a must if we are stop the criminals, leaving the EU causes concerns but I have faith that our security services and I hope whatever is the govt of the day will have safeguards and relationships in place ready for the uncertain future

What do you think Wales’ strengths and weaknesses are as a place to do business?

Strengths: Cheap place to do business, a ready workforce again cheap but can be trained up good people.

Weakness: Too dislocated from London and always it seems striving to move further away. A reputation for not being professional enough and something of a backwater.

What can Wales do to attract more inward investment?

Start by seizing fantastic opportunities and capitalising on the good stuff we do. E.g. Winning the Champions League was a coup I could never imagined and the biggest event next to The Ryder cup that wales has ever hosted to a global audience of billions and an opportunity to showcase Wales as the envy of the UK if only for June and globally…What have we done to promote it? Nothing! Most people in Cardiff don’t even know what’s happening on June 3rd.

What skills should the education system be promoting to the next generation?

150% STEM and cyber it’s the new industrial revolution and we can either lead and be the powerhouse or we can be the fodder but either way we need to educate the next generations and it needs to start now and in primary schools and the reality is it isn’t even on the agenda to speak of.

How important is it for there to be a close relationship between business and higher education in Wales?

Absolutely fundamental… Problem is that we are already promoting our higher education establishments as experts and the truth is in the cyber industry everyone knows this isn’t the case but it’s a positive start.

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