Do you run your own business? Or do you know anybody who runs a business? If so then we want to help you stay safe on line.
Detective Superintendent, Vanessa Eyles is the Director of the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands (WMCRC) who has now been in the role for over 6 months. We recently spent some time with Vanessa to discuss how the WMCRC can help support businesses of all sizes and why this is so important.
Take a look at the full interview below:
Hi, I’m Vanessa, the Director of the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands (WMCRC). It’s a Police led, not for profit business set up to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) become safer from cybercrime.
We cover the 4 Police Force areas of West Mercia, West Midlands, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. WMCRC is a great partnership between Police, business and academia.
Our first way of helping SME’s is through our free membership. This provides:
Fortnightly updates on regional cyber threats and risk reduction
Blogs and webinars for on-going Continual Professional Development (CPD) about Cyber Security
National updates about current cyber risks and best practice
Access to private cyber companies who are IASME certificated. These companies are Government recognised and locally known as our Trusted Partners. We connect people as needed for more complex matters
On-going access to the WMCRC for any future help or guidance needed. This means the CRC is on hand to help if needed
After the free membership we can then provide more specialist services at affordable rates. These are provided by our Cyber University students who are supervised by the National Cyber Resilience Centre. By using Cyber University students to deliver services we keep the costs as low as possible for SME’s, give students invaluable work experience and support the talent supply chain in a much needed area of expertise.
Our Trusted Partners are IASME certificated. This is a Government backed accreditation which promotes Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus, standards designed to help businesses prevent cyber attacks. WMCRC work with our Trusted Partners to encourage businesses to gain these standards.
One of the services we provide through our students is Security Awareness Training. It equips people with knowledge so they remain alert to risks. It is delivered in an accessible style to ensure all staff understand and adapt their ways/processes to be safer. Training can be in person or through on-line delivery - favoured by most SME’s. Feedback from previous client staff has been very positive. The training covers issues such as two factor authentication, password strength, Phishing attempts, etc..
Other student services we provide are:
Cybercrime is a significant threat - in the top 8 threats Nationally. It is a growing threat since the reliance of businesses on computers and hand held devices during the pandemic. Cyber attacks are a national concern due to events in Ukraine. SME’s are particularly vulnerable; often lacking the skills, knowledge and financial ability to protect themselves.
High numbers of businesses report being subject of a cyber breach or attack recently, many recorded a loss of data or other assets. The cost to an SME subject of a cyberattack can vary from hundreds and up to thousands of pounds. The risks for Charities are similar, with high numbers indicating they had been attacked/breached. Small businesses and charities think they won’t be targeted because they don’t have much money. However, cyber attackers will steal customer information such as bank accounts, addresses, sometimes personal information of a sensitive nature. They will then blackmail the victim of the attack.
Cyber attacks all too often lead to businesses struggling in isolation. Many people think that they can negotiate with Cyber threat actors. But cyber attackers don’t negotiate and often don’t abide by their own terms. Businesses sometimes pay for their data and records to be decrypted but are left out of pocket and with no returned data. As with all crime types, prevention is much better than cure.
So why not register for free today and help us to help you. Start to make your business safer from cyber attacks.