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Net Zero in a digital age needs to be cyber safe

In a recent talk at the Net Zero Show, Vanessa Eyles, Managing Director of the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre, highlights the importance of cybersecurity for businesses, especially those focusing on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.

Cyber attacks are a top concern in the UK, with criminals looking to steal data for profit or cause disruption. Even if your company is small, it's at risk. Vanessa offers advice, like using strong passwords, keeping software updated, and being wary of suspicious emails.

The West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre and similar centres across the UK can help businesses beef up their cyber defences. Protecting against cyber threats ensures that all the hard work towards sustainability isn't wasted.

Highlighting the importance of cyber security

Vanessa, representing the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre, underlines the paramount importance of cybersecurity, especially as companies work hard towards sustainability and carbon neutrality.

"You've all got fantastic principles about sustainability aiming for carbon zero," she says, but stresses that without solid cybersecurity, these efforts can be compromised. Cyberattacks are not to be underestimated, and they have been graded as a top-tier threat by the UK government.

She paints a clear picture of the potential dangers by stating hackers can get access to an organisation's strategic plans, selling them to competitors or even publicly revealing them without consent. This can "undermine your organisation, your business, your charity," making the entire operation vulnerable.

It’s important to remember that cybercriminals are ruthlessly driven, whether by the allure of profit or the thrill of causing chaos. Even well-meaning organisations aren't exempt: "Cyber attackers don't care if you are trying to save the Earth," she points out. They are out to "commit total devastation" or to profit from stolen data which is likened to "the new money".

Offering a beacon of hope, she mentions the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre, a police-led, not-for-profit initiative that aids businesses in bolstering their cyber defences. "We are here to help you become cyber safer," she promises, drawing an analogy to the government's health campaign by expressing her desire to elevate companies "from zero cybersecurity up to a safer place".

What can your business action immediately to boost cyber security?

For immediate steps, Vanessa recommends strong password practices, using government advice that passwords should be "three random words". She also underscores the importance of anti-virus software, multi-factor authentication, and cultivating awareness about phishing emails. These phishing emails can range from those that contain suspicious links tothose that use tactics like offers that are "too good to be true" or the instilling of fear to force compliance.

Watch the video

In summarising, Vanessa leaves listeners with a poignant message: hard work towards sustainability is commendable, but without proper cybersecurity measures, "all of your hard work towards being Net Zero is not for vain". She thanks her audience for their attention, offering them tools and advice to keep their ambitions and data safe.

To watch the video, click here.

Have cyber security concerns? Talk to us today to find out how we can help your organisation or business.


The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others.  Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.


The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this document. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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