An innovative partnership between the police, private sector and academia has launched today (13 May), across the East of England to help businesses across Kent protect themselves against cybercrime.
The Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre (ECRC) 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 ECRC offers a range of membership options depending on what level of support Kent businesses need. Core membership is free and provides businesses with access to a range of resources and tools to help them identify 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 Managing Director Paul Lopez, who is Detective Superintendent with Essex Police and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit. He has been in the police force for 28 years and has worked across a diverse range of policing functions, including serious and organised crime, intelligence and now most recently cybercrime.
In his new position of director of the ECRC, Paul is keen to use his experience to support businesses within the region to tackle the growing risk of cybercrime and improve their levels of cyber security.
He said, “I have seen first-hand the significant threat that businesses across our region face from cyber criminals. I have witnessed the damage a successful attack can do to organisations of all sizes from sole traders to multinational organisations. The ECRC team is committed to helping local business owners understand more about the threats they face and to help them get better protected.
“It 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 those wanting to be involved with our board and advisory group and we look forward to welcoming many more once we are up and running.”
The ECRC’s website is now live and provides businesses with details on guidance available, as well as signing up for one of our membership packages.
“The Core Membership is free and comes with a pack of practical guidance and information to assist companies in identifying their current risks and what they can do to reduce potential problems arising. We are keen that businesses across the region take advantage of this.” Paul added.
The ECRC has been funded by the National Police Chiefs’ Council National Cybercrime Programme, which secured £2million of government funding to establish a network on cyber resilience centres (CRCs) across the country. East is the seventh region to go live.
Mandy Haeburn-Little CEO of BRIM, the body which advises 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 from the 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 National Police Chiefs’ Council and the support of the Home Office.”
Assistant Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic, head of The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) and Director of the ECRC, said: “As technology continues to evolve and we all develop new ways of working, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s absolutely paramount that we take all steps possible to protect businesses, colleagues and consumers from the threat of cybercrime.
“Cyber attacks can cause significant damage to all sizes of business, right from small companies to huge multi-national organisations. This new initiative for the Eastern Region will bring together law enforcement, industry experts and academic experience to help best prepare the region’s businesses by educating them on potential threats and providing affordable cyber resilience services.
“It is an initiative that has already proved successful across many other regions in the UK, and I’ve no doubt the ECRC will also prove itself as a valuable resource for our communities.”
The Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre will generate income through the supply of a broad mix of products and services. It is a not-for-profit organisation which means all revenue generated will be invested back into helping to keep businesses across the East of England safe.
Businesses can find out more information about the centre and how to get involved at www.ecrcentre.co.uk. To keep updated with all the latest ECRC developments, follow @EasternCRC on Twitter, LinkedIn and sign up to receive the ECRC e-news on the website.