Posted on

The West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (WMCRC) is delighted to announce it has joined forces with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in the West Midlands.

The collaboration will see the two organisations working together to help encourage small to medium-sized businesses across the region to be more cyber secure.

The WMCRC brings together the expertise from law enforcement, private sector and academia to offer guidance to organisations across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, West Mercia and Warwickshire, in protecting themselves against cybercrime.

It is part of a network of centres being established across the country and provides businesses and organisations with an affordable way to access cyber security services and consultancy to safeguard themselves from cyber-attacks.

Commenting on the relationship, Director of the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre, Alison Hurst, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the FSB. The organisation and its network will be crucial in assisting us to extend our reach in order to help support businesses across the region.

“The FSB is a resource that helps many small businesses achieve their ambition and we aim to support this further by working in collaboration to maximise the cyber resilience of micro businesses and SMEs within the West Midlands.”

The FSB is the UK’s largest business group with 160,000 members across the country, made up of small business owners and the self-employed. The not-for-profit organisation offers a range of business services including legal protection, health and safety advice, employment protection, insurance services and crisis management. It also provides a variety of networking events and opportunities for its members as well as being a powerful government lobbyist, continually campaigning for better conditions and resources for small firms and individuals.

Hollie Whittles, West Midlands Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, and an owner of two Telford-based SMEs herself, commented: “Crime against business hurts the wider economy, including in particular small businesses, of which there are 5.9 million in the UK and around 400,000 in the Midlands. They are almost always less able to invest in the cost of the latest IT equipment and security software so can be particularly susceptible to cybercrime.

“This situation is exacerbated by local and national Government-mandated requirements – such as ‘Making Tax Digital’ – which require small businesses to increasingly share their technical and financial data online. In 2019, FSB launched ‘Calling Time on Business Crime’, which highlighted many of the threats facing small businesses.

“We are delighted to see new impetus being given to addressing these issues, so look forward to working closely with the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre to raise awareness of the latest threats – and the latest measures that can be taken to counter them.”

The WMCRC offers a range of membership options depending on what level of support 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.

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