Local Businesses Challenged in Police Cybersecurity Workshop

Local businesses recently gathered at Barnstaple Library for a special cybersecurity workshop organised by the South West Police Regional Cyber Crime Unit and Lineal Software Solutions Ltd.

Thirty participants from firms across the South West took part in a series of Lego-based group exercises highlighting key concepts in cybersecurity, as they sought to protect a fictional utilities company from attack by common real-world cyber crime.

Designed to raise awareness of coordinated digital threats, the cybersecurity workshop session is part of a new educational initiative being run by the Police right across the region.

The winning team defended their company by spending their budget on the correct countermeasures at each stage of the exercise, and strategically limiting the damage from any breaches in security.

Supported by five Police Forces within the region, the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) is one of nine regional units across England and Wales that delivers specialist capabilities to target and disrupt serious and organised crime.

Group exercises were followed by a short Q&A including advice for businesses on related topics including network best-practice, password policy, physical security, and the Government’s new Cyber Essentials certification.

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Lineal’s Head of Technical Services, Matt Norris, explained: “We were to delighted to be able to organise the Cyber Crime Unit to run this very special workshop for local companies: we see cyberattacks becoming ever more sophisticated, and the SWRCCU takes a really positive and constructive approach to educating business owners about how to protect their organisations and employees.”

“Many businesses struggle to grapple with cybersecurity but help and expertise is accessible.”

Protect Officer Samantha Parsons from the SW Regional Cyber Crime Unit explained: “The overwhelming majority of businesses are reliant on online services, which exposes them to cyber security risks. Despite 43% of businesses reporting breaches or attacks in 2018, only 27% had a formal policy or policies covering cyber security risks. It was great to see so many organisations attend the workshop, wanting to understand more about Cyber Security and how they can protect themselves.”