WMCRC Advisory Group welcomes three new members

We are delighted to announce three new members who have joined the WMCRC Advisory Group. The group will provide the WMCRC with guidance, advice and influence the direction of the Centre, welcome to Deborah Leary, Helen Barge and Mark Kenkre:


Deborah Leary, CEO Forensic Pathways LTD

Deborah Leary is the CEO and Founder of Forensic Pathways (FPL), an international consultancy and forensic technology design company. The Company are continuously developing new innovative technologies for the forensic and threat intelligence field, including digital forensics, dark web monitoring and social media investigations.

On joining the Advisory Group Deborah said, “I’m absolutely honoured to be asked to join the Advisory Group of the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre on behalf of Forensic Pathways Ltd.

"The global pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in online fraud. Through the provision of our Threat Intelligence Services, our role is to ensure the resilience of our clients and our community. It takes years to build a brand and reputation, and seconds to lose it. Cyber resilience and online business intelligence are now imperatives for the entire business community, whether SME or Corporate.

"Forensic Pathways’ involvement with the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre will provide us with a fantastic opportunity to provide advice and support to our fellow SME community and an opportunity to share experiences and learn from other.”


Helen Barge, Managing Director Risk Evolves LTD

Helen has worked in a variety of industry sectors since 1986. During this time, she has held roles encompassing IT and business management and including over a decade in governance, risk, and compliance. Helen is the focal point for cybersecurity at the Coventry & Warwickshire regional group of the Federation of Small Businesses and regularly delivers presentations to cross-sector groups on the need to ensure that their organisations are secure.

Helen’s passion for business cyber security is evident and a driving force behind her joining the Advisory Group, on her appointment she said, “I’ve followed with great interest the success of the Resilience Centre in Scotland, and therefore to have the opportunity to be involved in the development of a similar centre in the West Midlands was something that I was keen to do and I certainly didn’t need to be asked twice!

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and as the owner of a small business, I understand many of the challenges and opportunities that we face. We need to be presented with solutions and not problems, and the CRC will offer practical support and guidance. Additionally, having worked with many organisations as MD of Risk Evolves, I have developed a great network of people, companies and other organisations that are keen to be involved.

“Sadly, the threat of cybercrime faces us all – regardless of size or sector. It is heartbreaking to see money, data, intellectual property being stolen, it is not a victimless crime. The West Midlands has a rich variety of businesses, and a unique set of opportunities, including HS2, the Commonwealth Games and Coventry City of Culture, together with some amazing cyber expertise in places such as Malvern and Cheltenham and in our universities. The CRC has the opportunity to bring these together as a force for growth in the West Midlands and that is something pretty special to be a part of.”


Mark Kenkre, Partner, Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Mark is a partner at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, an international law firm with over 150 partners and more than 900 people located across the UK, Middle East and Asia. Mark has a particular interest in technology, cybercrime, and cyber security issues. He has delivered seminars and training on fraud and cyber security issues, including the development of fraud risks relating to blockchain technology and developments in legal technology.


On joining the Advisory Group, Mark said: “The global pandemic has put organisations under immense stress and the almost overnight changes to the way businesses operate and the fast transition to home working has left them vulnerable to fraud and cyber breaches. The rapid evolution of technology has enabled fraudsters to adapt, at an alarming pace, to take advantage of new and emerging cyber risks.


"We understand that the true cost of a data breach and cybercrime is more than just a number. Penalties from regulators and damage to reputation can lead to business disruption, lost trade and management time and the costs of internal investigations and disciplinary procedures.

“Trowers & Hamlins has a long history of advising clients on fraud and cyber security issues and we have substantial experience in handling all aspects of cybercrime and data breaches across a whole range of sectors. I am delighted to join the WMCRC advisory group and look forward to bring our client insight and experience to help local businesses minimise the impact of cybercrime."

Find out more about our Advisory Group Members on our website as well as join as a WMCRC Member and sign up to our e-newsletter.

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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