Independent trade organisation for Greater Manchester’s digital and tech businesses, Manchester Digital, has announced the launch of its new Cyber Resilience Centre, set up to protect the region’s businesses against the increasing threat of cybercrime.
The joint venture with Greater Manchester Police has the backing of Greater Manchester Combined Authority and will add to the region’s growing expertise in the cybersecurity field, with cybersecurity giants GCHQ and Callsign having recently relocated to the region.
The centre will provide advice and support regarding cybersecurity and protecting a business against cybercrime – with experts on hand to support visitors through all levels of the journey, whether it be protection against an attack, or support when an attack has already taken place. Businesses that join as members will also gain access to free training and additional tools to help them stay safe online.
The centre aims to support 150 Greater Manchester businesses in its first year, with local students being offered work experience to help train them for a future role in cybersecurity.
Detective Superintendent Neil Jones who has been developing this venture said: “The new Cyber Resilience Centre is an innovative and crucial initiative for Greater Manchester in assisting businesses to become more resilient to cyber-crime.”
“The estimated cost of cyber-crime across Greater Manchester is in the region of £860m per year, despite up to 80% of cyber-crime being preventable. Our aim is to substantially increase the take-up of effective Cybersecurity measures to assisting businesses to be resilient to cyber-crime and safeguard the Greater Manchester business community.
“We believe this work, as well as helping businesses across the region, will support the capability and development of the cyber sector in Greater Manchester by improving the volume of reported attacks and directing support to the cyber security businesses in the region.”
The Crime Survey for England and Wales reported 1.8m cyber incidents in 2017, however from these only 1% were reported to law enforcement, with only 0.6% eventually being solved. The Cyber Resilience Centre has been designed to provide a targeted programme of work that will include training, ethical hacking, and recovery support via a range of trusted suppliers, who will provide everything from Cyber Essentials certification through to recovery from hacking and ransomware attacks.
Richard Holmes, Vice President of Cyber Security Services at CGI in the UK said; “As our companies and economies become digital in nature, securing our organisations against cyber-attacks and data breaches has become one of the most important business issues facing organisations. At CGI we help a broad range of clients manage their cyber security challenges with a business focused approach. We are supporting the Manchester Digital Cyber Resilience Centre as we believe it will provide a valuable contribution to help businesses in the region identify how to improve their cyber resilience.”
The UK government has outlined 10 recommended steps for businesses to follow in order to protect themselves online, however just over half of UK businesses have followed five or more of these steps. As a result, the centre aims to have 100% of Greater Manchester businesses reach this level within the next few years.
Manchester Digital currently represents over 500 members, with three core aims: connecting the sector, representing the sector, and fostering talent and skills. For more information on Manchester Digital, and its ongoing dedication to supporting the digital and tech industries in Greater Manchester, visit the Manchester Digital website.