Published on 28/07/20

Cyber Resilience Centre Launches across the West Midlands Region to Help Businesses

An innovative partnership between police, private sector and academia has launched this week, in the West Midlands region to help businesses protect themselves against cybercrime.

The West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (WMCRC), is part of a network of centres being established across the country to provide businesses and organisations, with an affordable way to access cyber security services and consultancy to help protect themselves from attack.

The WMCRC offers a range a membership options depending on what level of support businesses in Staffordshire, West Midlands, West Mercia and Warwickshire need. The Core Membership is free and provides businesses with access to a range of resources and tools to help them identify their risks and vulnerabilities, as well as providing guidance on the steps they can take to increase their levels of protection.

The centre is headed up by a Director who is also a Detective Superintendent with the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Alison Hurst, who has taken on the Director role, has been in policing for over 25 year where she spent the last six years as an investigator and more recently as the senior lead working with public and private sector partners from across the West Midlands to help keep vulnerable children safe.

Alison said: “I am really excited to be leading such an innovative partnership in the fight against cybercrime. The increase in remote working over the last few months has also seen an increase in cyber-attacks on businesses. The threat is very real and can render a business inoperable as well as causing them significant financial and reputational damage. But many smaller businesses can’t afford to access cyber security consultancy or services.”

“The WMCRC brings together the expertise of law enforcement, private industry and academia working together to deliver affordable services to help businesses mitigate their cyber security risks.

“We have already had a great response from businesses wanting to be involved with our Board and Advisory Group. We will be announcing more information on this soon. Our website is now live so businesses can find out more about how we can help them and sign up for one of our membership packages. The Core Membership is free and comes with a pack of practical guidance and information to help businesses identify their current risks and what they can do to mitigate against them. We hope lots of businesses will sign up.

The WMCRC has been funded by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Cyber Crime Programme which secured £2million of Government funding to establish a network on CRCs across the country. The national roll out of the CRCs was announced today by Chief Constable Peter Goodman, the NPCC Portfolio lead for Cybercrime. The West Midlands is the fourth region to go live.

Mandy Haeburn-Little CEO of BRIM who advise on establishing and developing the CRCs said: “This is a fundamental and very positive step by Policing and represents a new era for Cybercrime prevention where Policing will work hand in hand with private sector in the alignment of cyber strategies. This fulfils so many objectives together from supporting emerging student skills, delivery of Policing cybercrime objectives, support for all sectors of business and the focus for much needed assistance towards economic growth for business. It is a one stop shop for cyber resilience which we have worked very hard to develop with NPCC and the support of the Home office. “

Moving forwards the centre will generate income through the supply of a broad mix of products and services. The CRC is a not for profit organisation which means all revenue generated will be invested back into helping to keep businesses safe.

Businesses can find out more information about the centre and how to get involved at www.wmcrc.co.uk. To keep updated with all the latest WMCRC developments follow @westmidlandscrc on Twitter or on LinkedIn and sign up to receive the WMCRC e-news on the website.