This means 2,000 Welsh businesses and organisations are serious about making themselves, colleagues and customers safer from risks. They are actively building defences and knowledge to identify untoward activity and should the worst happen, they are equipped to respond appropriately and have a much better standing point for business continuity.
The prime objective for the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales (WCRC) is to help small businesses, charities and other third sector organisations to better protect themselves against cybercrime. The centre’s task at hand to raise awareness and encourage action among business owners and decision makers to implement basic cyber security measures, is crucial.
Why cyber security should be on every small business agenda
This is especially important as Wales is often named as a cybercrime hotspot but getting the message out there about the threats of ransomware, phishing and malware is quite the challenge especially when cyber security is often a misunderstood subject. It’s often viewed as overly technical to understand, a costly luxury to implement and a concern reserved for bigger businesses, which the WCRC works hard to dispel these assumptions.
The team at Snowdon Mountain Railway comments: “As an established tourist attraction in North Wales, we take our physical and cyber security seriously. From speaking with Paul Hall and staff from North Wales Police, the threat of cybercrime is not going away. Although we currently have good systems in place it is important that we keep up to date with the latest developments in cybercrime and cyber security.
“As a business we have a website and take online payments and it is essential that we ensure there are no vulnerabilities in our systems. The monthly newsletter provided by the WCRC will help keep us informed with developments in the area in order for us to pass on to our staff to protect the organisation.”
North Wales Police, Cyber Protect Officer Dewi Owen, adds: “It’s important to us to work alongside the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales to offer businesses across North Wales the best possible support that enables them to keep themselves safe and secure online. Cyber security can seem daunting, but we work alongside the centre to share clear and simple advice with businesses that they can easily put into action.
“When businesses sign up for WCRC membership, they join a network of businesses from across the whole of Wales which benefit from information sharing through the monthly newsletter which contains useful guidance, as well as information about the latest threats that businesses are seeing across Wales and England.”
So how are we shifting mindsets?
The WCRC has significantly ramped up efforts with a business engagement events programme, which allows us to highlight our free membership offering directly to small businesses and charitable organisations.
Led by Paul Hall, the centre’s Head of Cyber and Innovation, and run in conjunction with policing colleagues from North Wales Police, Gwent Police, South Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police, the events see the team on the ground visiting businesses door-to-door, from Porthcawl to Prestatyn, Aberystwyth to Welshpool and many more places in between.
Having these in-person chats offers the opportunity to share with communities what WCRC membership is all about; helping those with limited to no cyber knowledge understand how cybercrime can impact ANY business and providing access to simple, jargon-free guidance on keeping cyber security threats at bay.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert is the Wales PCC lead for cybercrime. He says: “The Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales was launched to support organisations across Wales to become more cyber resilient. To reach the milestone of its 2,000th member in such a short space of time is an impressive achievement. “More than 90 per cent of the WCRC membership is made up of small businesses and charities, highlighting the desire of policing to work closely in partnership with the private sector and to tackle cybercrime. The support that the centre receives from our partners in the private sector, academia, local government, and policing has played a significant role in the centre’s success.
“Cybercrime remains a very real threat to organisations and businesses within Wales. This is why the WCRC works closely with local policing teams to engage with businesses and charities across the country, helping them understand how they can reduce their vulnerability to cyber-attacks by taking simple steps. The WCRC provision of affordable services through the CyberPATH initiative has also allowed students opportunities to work alongside senior security practitioners in delivering high-quality cyber security services to SMEs and charities across Wales.”
Simon Tee, managing partner at Kilsby Williams Chartered Accountants, and WCRC board member, adds: “We are delighted to be involved in the continued success of the WCRC, which helps protect the value of businesses across Wales. This membership milestone is a testament to the company’s management demonstrating excellent leadership and communication skills.”
Join the WCRC membership community today
WCRC membership is something we strongly encourage businesses of all sizes and sectors to consider. Through regular sharing of guidance, cyber updates and resources, Welsh businesses will continue to thrive and have the centre to assist at every step of the cyber journey. Sign up today or drop the team a line to arrange a chat about your current cyber security position.