Exclusive interview - Meet the new Head of Cyber and Innovation

Hinesh Mehta is only a few weeks into his new role as Head of Cyber and Innovation, but we were able to catch a few minutes with him to get his thoughts on joining the WMCRC team and how his experience as a Detective Inspector in the West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit can help businesses in the region:

How do you think your police experience will help in your new role?

In 2015 I started the regions first Cyber Safety Group which brought the police, statutory partners and charities together in order to promote safe cyber practises. The CRC offers a chance to take this even further by involving the private sector.

What will you be doing in your new role and what are the priorities?

My role will be to lead the centres ambition to offer cyber services that are both innovative in their approach but that also to give confidence to both boards and their clients. My initial priority is to establish links between businesses in the region and the CRC, ensuring that we have a good range of trusted partners and engage with academia and business leaders.

Why do you think the WMCRC is so important for businesses in the region?

The West Midlands is a fantastic area with some great organisations doing great work. With the increased use of technology, the threat increases. We want to ensure that business operate in this environment in a safe and confident way. The CRC will help organisations to achieve this.

What are the main cyber security threats to businesses in the West Midlands region?

Unfortunately we do see attacks occurring on a regular basis. Ransomware remains a big threat. This is where a user has inadvertently downloaded a piece of malicious of software which then goes on to lock all the files on the network. The first the user knows of this is a message demanding money. The disruption that this causes can be devastating.

Have you got any tips for small and medium businesses to help them protect themselves?

Treating data like it is a commodity is important. Would you leave your office doors unlocked? Would you be happy to leave customer notes open for all to see in the reception area? I suspect not and by taking advantage of cyber advice it is the same principle.

What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

I am a people person by nature and I’m looking forward to getting out, speaking to businesses, understanding their fears and what they need. There are so many cyber services and products out there, not to mention a whole new world of jargon! It can be confusing to people – so I’m looking forward to distilling this down language that is understood and also meaningful.

Why do you think businesses should join the WMCRC?

I think that having a one stop shop for cyber services is a big benefit of the CRC. We have a range of services that, due to being a not-for-profit business are great value. Cyber is increasing so business can gain confidence by speaking to us and seeing what we can offer.

"I have lived and worked in the West Midlands are all my life. I want to see businesses prosper and succeed and I’m really looking forward to playing a part with this."

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands is a trusted resource for  support to protect businesses and third sector organisations in the West Midlands region.



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