A police-led company has been set up to protect South West businesses and charities from cybercrime.
The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South West (SWCRC) is a not-for-profit firm set up under National Police Chiefs Council with funding from the Home Office. Its aim is, in partnership with industry, to tackle cyber crime and give sound guidance to companies for whom membership is free.
SWCRC is part of the national roll-out of Cyber Resilience Centres in the UK, which began in 2019, to provide businesses and charities with free support, and an “affordable” way to access more bespoke cyber security services and consultancy.
The SWCRC was launched in October 2020 led by police, in partnership with the private sector and academics, and facilitated by Business Resilience International Management (BRIM), which works with the Home Office on preventing cyber crime.
It has a structured modular programme based on a successful model that had previously been established for nine years in Scotland.
The SWCRC has been funded by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Cyber Crime Programme which secured Government funding to establish a network of CRCs across England and Wales.
It offers a range of membership options depending on the level of support that businesses in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset need.
The core membership, which is specifically aimed at micro businesses and SMEs, is free, and provides access to a range of resources and tools to help them identify risks and vulnerabilities.
Core membership comes with a welcome pack full of tools and tips as well as access to national cyber security guidance, and regular updates.
The SWCRC also offers a range of paid membership options which also come with a choice of cyber security services including a half-day staff awareness session and a regional quarterly briefing on current cyber threats in the region.
The centre is headed by its director Mark Moore, who is also a superintendent with the Devon and Cornwall police force.
Supt Moore has been in policing for more than 25 years and has been responsible for managing police responses to high-risk and protracted incidents, latterly overseeing policing in the area of Exeter, East and Mid Devon.
He has also worked as a consultant to police forces across the country, and managed the team which oversees initial response to every reported incident in the Devon and Cornwall force area.
Supt Moore said: “I am enormously excited to have been asked to bring the SWCRC into being and lead on this innovative partnership aimed at tackling the huge threat that is cybercrime.
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“We know that any system is only as strong as its weakest link, and that is why we want to help improve protection for networks and supply chains across the South West.
“Cybercrime is a risk to all business, but with some simple changes, they can significantly reduce their chance of falling victim to it. It needn’t be scary, complex or unmanageable, and we are here to help people through.
“The SWCRC brings together the expertise of law enforcement, private industry and academia, working together to deliver free and affordable services to help businesses mitigate their cyber security risks.
“Our website is now live, so businesses and charities can find out more about how we can help them and sign up for one of our membership packages.”
For more information about the SWCRC or to become a member click here