Following our first snapshot of how the WCRC works courtesy of the centre’s Director Paul Peters our focus now turns to its Head of Cyber and Innovation, Paul Hall.
Paul is very much the ‘face’ of the centre, regularly heading out on the road visiting businesses and organisations across Wales and speaking with business owners about cyber security and what the WCRC actually does. Here, Paul gives us a glimpse on what he actually does when he’s out and about.
You do business engagement days with police officers and PCSOs. What is each person’s role when you visit places?
The purpose of the business engagement days is to have face-to-face contact with local organisations to speak to them about the threat of cybercrime and the impact this can have to their business but also what steps they can do to protect themselves and their company.
The engagements days are conducted throughout Wales utilising the skills and experience of the four Welsh Forces Cyber Protect officers and the local Neighbourhood Policing Team officers of the area we are visiting. It is a real team effort and myself and a police cyber protect officer will pair up with a local police community support office (PCSO) and visit the business at its premises.
The benefit of partnering with local officers is that we can utilise their knowledge and pre-existing relationships of the area and business owners to target those who the PCSO believes require urgent security advice. This allows me or a cyber protect officer to engage with them more effectively.
Whist at the business premises myself and the cyber protect officer will discuss the current risks of cybercrime and what it can do to protect itself. It also allows for the PCSO present to be upskilled throughout the day and pass on key messages to members of the public in the future as part of their daily duties.
Typically, how many businesses would you visit in a day?
It’s generally around 30 but this will vary depending on the needs of the businesses. This is an opportunity for a company to have some free one-on-one guidance on their cyber security which is not something that is offered by many other organisations. Some businesses we see we are there for over an hour as they may have a limited understanding of the subject. Other businesses could be very busy at the time of calling and so we will make arrangements to contact them again in the future.
Once people sign up for membership, what happens next and how do you make sure that members are fully supported with their needs?
After signing up as a member they will be emailed a WCRC Welcome Pack which is a guidance document to increase their knowledge of cybercrime and cyber security, signposting them to the services that we can offer them. One of our client relations advisors will then contact the new member within seven days to ensure they have received all the onboarding material and they are set up to receive the monthly newsletter. The client relations advisor will then go through a series of questions with the new member just to ensure they are implementing the key principles of cyber security.
The aim for the WCRC is to have regular check ins with members to offer more of a personalised service so we will then make contact with them every three months to check and see how they are getting on and if they need any further assistance. It is also an opportunity to get feedback regarding any services that have been provided.
When you’re back at the office – what kind of tasks would you be doing?
Working in the WCRC offers a very unique position in policing and I have certainly learnt a lot of new skills whilst performing the role. There are certain functions that need to be done on a weekly basis such as ensuring the CRM is fully up to date, supporting the WCRC director in the finances and assisting in completing governance reports. However, a main part of my role is identifying opportunities to collaborate with other organisations in order to reach a wider business community.
I also have the responsibility of supporting the business management students that perform the role of client relation advisors. It is important that they are manged appropriately to ensure that their studies don’t suffer but at the same time they are gaining valuable work experience with the centre. Part of the process is providing them initial training and continuous professional development whilst working with the WCRC which they can take forward in their future careers.
If you think you and your local business community would be interested in speaking with the WCRC business engagement team and would like to arrange a visit then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.