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Staffordshire businesses urged to step up cyber security

May 8, 2018

Staffordshire businesses are being urged to sign up to a new initiative to become cyber security savvy.

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub is supporting the Cyber Savvy scheme, which has been launched by Staffordshire’s Online Fraud Forum – a partnership of local business and public sector organisations chaired by Sue Arnold, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire.

The free training gives Staffordshire businesses the chance to get cyber security savvy and stay one step ahead of online fraudsters, with designated workplace champions.

Speaking about the initiative, Sue Arnold said: “It’s all too easy to fall foul of online fraud, and the consequences can be devastating. We all have to become smarter if we’re going to reduce the impact of this kind of crime and this free training will enable businesses to stay ahead of the fraudsters.  The new cyber crime champions will be the first point of contact for information and will be able to share it easily and quickly with their colleagues!”

Cyber security 

Cybercrime is swiftly becoming the most damaging crime a victim can experience. Last year, online fraud and cybercrime was estimated to have cost £11 billion pounds and fraudsters are increasingly targeting businesses large and small.

According to a report by the Police and Crime Commissioner, in Staffordshire 62,000 internet users were victims of at least one cyber crime but the majority of crimes were still unreported. In terms of cyber security, 146,000 of those who go online have not taken any measures to protect themselves and 37% of victims did not report the crime. Where crimes were reported, more were reported to a bank, internet service provider and/or company than to the police or Action Fraud.

Funding

Nicola Kent, who runs the Growth Hub on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said: “Cyber crime is a hot topic right now and there are some shocking statistics on businesses falling for online scams and losing thousands of pounds!

“The Growth Hub can help businesses purchase IT equipment through the Small Business Grant Scheme and we are linked to the SMART Staffordshire work which is on-going to help businesses and individuals become more tech savvy. Staffordshire University, which is a leader in this field, is a member of the Growth Hub Steering group to provide digital expertise.”

Cyber security training 

The training, which is due to begin in early summer, will be delivered by Staffordshire’s Digital Police Community Support Officer Matthew Hough-Clewes and members of the fraud forum.

PCSO Hough-Clewes said: “I have visited a number of groups and organisations, showing them how to protect themselves online and not be tricked into giving away information to the wrong people.

“I’m really excited about this new cyber champion initiative and look forward to helping businesses in Staffordshire improve their cyber security.”

For more information about becoming a Cyber Champion in your workplace email: pcc@staffordshire.pcc.pnn.gov.uk

To find out if your business is eligible for funding for IT equipment, call the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub’s Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002, for FREE advice on completing your application.

 

Call the Business Helpline to find out how we can help your business. Call 0300 111 8002.