Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cybersecurity programme to support Leeds microbusinesses and self-employed

Micro-businesses and the self-employed across Leeds City Region are set to benefit from a £100,000 cybersecurity programme.

Working across the region, the North East Business Resilience Centre (NEBRC) is a non-profit organisation which exists to support businesses from cybercrime.

The organisation offers a wide range of business-resilience services, delivered by an expert team of trusted professionals, police officers and innovative ‘ethical hackers’ from Sheffield Hallam and Northumbria University.

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP), has commissioned the NEBRC to deliver a £100K programme to support the self-employed and micro-businesses of less than 10 employees across the Leeds City Region (excluding Barnsley) at a time when so many businesses are facing ongoing change and distribution as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

“The LEP is continuing to support businesses with the impact of COVID-19, and cyber security is a key part of our recovery plans to produce resilient and thriving businesses,” said Roger Marsh, Chair of Leeds City Region Partnership (the LEP) and NP11.

“I am delighted to be working with NEBRC on our new cyber resilience programme to help those that currently need it the most.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for micro-businesses to benefit from expert advice, and I’d encourage all to get in touch and find out how they can mitigate cyber security risks and protect their business.”

The pandemic period has seen a 400% increase in cyber fraud with statistics reflecting that small businesses – and particularly the self-employed sole trader or micro business – have found themselves at greatest risk and without access to relevant cyber support and services.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “As we all know, it’s currently a very difficult time for many, and that goes for business too. The last thing any SMEs need right now is a cyber-attack, so it’s fantastic that £100,000 worth of extra support is being put in place for prevention initiatives.

“These initiatives will help to safeguard against online criminals and in the current climate, suffering an attack may well mean the difference between a business staying open and closing.”

The NEBRC will work to run a dedicated outreach education programme to improve cyber resilience through assessment, testing, certification, education, and guidance – embedding free or affordable solutions where required, alongside an ongoing partnership approach.

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