January 28, 2021

Business In The Midlands

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Cybersecurity expert brought in to help protect West Midlands businesses after England & Wales lose £130 billion to cybercrime

3 min read

The West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (WMCRC) has recently announced Ian Vickers as their first board member. With more than 22 years experience in IT and cybersecurity, the Birmingham-based technology entrepreneur has vast experience in protecting businesses from cyber crimes.

Founder of multi-award winning, cyber secure hybrid cloud platform METCloud, Ian has been a stalwart in cyber security for the region. He has been the Chairperson of the Birmingham Related Crime Steering Group and a Board Member of the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership. He has also been appointed as a board member of the West Midlands Crime Partnership – an initiative developed by the Police Crime Commissioners Office to develop best practices in crime prevention. In addition to local initiatives, Ian was also an active member of the CompTIA UK Executive Council.

The WMCRC is the fourth of ten cyber resilience centres planned in the UK to follow the Business Resilience International Management (BRIM) Resilience Centre Model. Working in partnership with Police UK, these cyber resilience centres help protect businesses from cyber-crimes and support organisations that are affected by data breaches. They have also launched a YouTube channel that will provide handy tips on keeping cyber safe in the near future.

Ian said: “I am honoured to be the first board member of WMCRC and I really would like to see the centre become an integral cybersecurity resource to businesses in this region. The most effective way to combat the surge in cybercrime is through close collaboration with the government, NCSC, the police, businesses and academia. I believe that the WMCRC is very well positioned to be the epicentre of this collaboration.”

This comes at a pivotal time for businesses across the West Midlands and the UK. The Office of National Statistics has reported that 4.5 million cyber crimes were committed in England and Wales alone. This has resulted in more than £130 billion being stolen. Furthermore, as the bulk of England’s workforce continues to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are starting to realise that they need longer term reinforcements to their cybersecurity measures for remote working.

General adoption of global cloud computing has seen a rise of 500% within the last year. The UK is seeing a similar trend, especially as Covid-19 continues to send reverberations to how businesses retain operations. As a result, the demand for specific security services such as Security Operation Centre as a Service (SOCaaS) is seeing a significant uptake as well.

“The knee jerk approach to remote working has left many businesses vulnerable to cyber criminals. Even GDPR and data protection laws, security breaches are on the increase . It is important for businesses to identify potential shortfalls and remediate quickly before they become threats.

“The internet is underpinning the future of business as it allows companies to trade globally. It is also connecting new technologies such as robotics and AI. If systems are not adequately protected from cybercrime or disruption, it is a recipe for disaster.

“My concern is that many companies still do not fully appreciate the damage that cyber crime can have on their business and those who do understand, feel overwhelmed.

“With the expertise and resource available from WMCRC, it is well poised to be the first port-of-call for businesses to equip themselves better to fight against this burgeoning threat,” said Ian.

Director of WMCRC and Superintendent Alison Hurst said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ian Vickers as our very first WMCRC Board Member. Ian brings a wealth of experience both in the cyber security industry but also as a successful CEO and business leader. His guidance will be invaluable to me as the Director and also to the wider team at the  WMCRC as we endeavour to grow the organisation and increase the number of members across the region. I am looking forward to working with Ian and shaping our future plans.”

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