Businesses from across the Humberside force area will soon have the opportunity to sign up for a new way of protecting themselves from cyber criminals.
The force has teamed up with leading firms from across the area and the Hull University Business School to form the Humber Business Resilience Forum (HBRF) - which aims to make the business of cyber security top of the agenda.
The HBRF – which will officially launch in June – aims to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for businesses to access the most up to date knowledge and expertise on cyber security issues and how to protect themselves, via its website and open business seminars.
Supt Phil Ward and DI Rich Osgerby will join senior executives from Rix Petroleum, Rollits, Barclays, PwC, Agenda Screening Services, c4di, KCOM and university academics to shape the forum’s board.
The board will act as a senior think tank exploring the issues of concern to organisations of all sizes – from multinationals to micro-businesses.
Prevention is key
DI Osgerby said: “It is believed that 90 per cent of all cyber crime can be prevented by taking simple steps to improve security. The HBRF will provide a fantastic way of helping us to educate businesses of all sizes about how they can best do this.
“Coupled with the force’s partnership with get Safe Online – which provides up to the minute advice about the latest emerging threats – this will be another great tool in helping us to reduce the threat of cyber crime in the Humber region.”
Gordon Meldrum QPM, a Non-Executive Director of Hull-based Agenda Screening Services, and the former Director of organised crime command with the National Crime Agency, is a driving force behind the HBRF and has been appointed Chair of the forum’s board.
“Crimes against businesses are changing,” says Meldrum. “It’s no longer just about an organisation’s physical security – there are digital ‘doors’ that need to be locked and secured as a matter of course.
“This change in emphasis can be difficult for many organisations to understand and manage on their own, which is why the forum is essential to the region’s business.
“We want the Humber to be known as a region which is cyber resilient and one of the safest places to do business in the UK.”
Protection through education
Dr Dionysios Demetis from Hull University Business School has been involved in HBRF from the outset. His research into business cyber resilience and the threats from both internal and external sources will help steer the discussions and work of the group.
Dr Demetis says: “As technology changes working practices and our reliance on technological operations deepens, no organisation can afford to be casual about information security. It is impossible to ignore these issues and hope that everything will turn out fine –statistically speaking, that is a very unlikely outcome.
“Education is the key to business resilience. Our aim is to create a space in which businesses can seek and receive help and guidance to become stronger and more prepared for future attacks.”
Business representation is key to ensuring that the information provided is appropriate to the needs of the region. Rory Clarke, Managing Director, Rix Petroleum, was one of the first business leaders to be approached to join the board. He believes that the forum could be a real point of differentiation for business in the Humber region.
“Cyber crime, including cyber enabled fraud, is the single biggest threat to our business today. It comes in many guises and is occurring with increasing frequency. As a consequence cyber security management is critically important to the way that we operate.
“Ultimately our cyber security protects our shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers from the significant risks of financial loss, business disruption and reputational damage which in turn ultimately protects employment, investment and business development in our region. Ignoring this threat to your business is like leaving the office with the alarm off and the keys in the front door.”
Book your place
The launch of the Humber Business Resilience Forum will take place at Hull University Business School on Wednesday 8 June, 4-6pm as part of the 2016 Humber Business Week. To book your place visit the events page of www.hull.ac.uk/hubs or email email@example.com.
Look out for more information via Twitter on @HumberBRF. A dedicated website – www.hbrf.co.uk – is due to launch next month.
Advice on protecting your business can also be found at Cyber Security – Has it Clicked or Get Safe Online