NEBRC warns business to bolster cyber security measures

Cyber Essentials a minimum requirement for government contracts

As the UK sees businesses across most regions and sectors start to return to work this month the national and regional cyber security centres are warning about the importance of cyber security.

The North East Business Resilience Centre is working with businesses in the region to protect against the ‘new normality’ with different locations and patterns of work coming into play as a result of the pandemic.

In a recent survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Centrify which polled senior decision makers, almost half (48%) of the large- and medium- sized businesses polled admitted that their existing cyber security policies are currently not suitable for maintaining a 100% remote working model.

Martin Wilson, Head of Cyber & Innovation for the North East Hub at NEBRC commented: “It is important that businesses are prepared and protected across the board as new and remote practices continue for many.

“It is well reported that remote workers, including third party contractors, are particular targets for cyber criminals. Training and appropriate security measures are therefore essential to help guard against this possibility, which sadly many businesses have suffered during the Covid 19 pandemic period.

“The NEBRC is here to support businesses to ensure that cyber security principles are implemented for home working as much as in the workplace.”

The government is taking steps to further reduce the levels of cyber security risk in its supply chain through the Cyber Essentials scheme, managed by IASME and for which NEBRC has recently attained Cyber Essentials Self-Assessment certification.

Cyber Essentials aims to help organisations implement basic levels of protection against cyber-attack, demonstrating to their customers that they take cyber security seriously, and given Cyber Essentials has become a minimum requirement for bidding for some government contracts, aiding new business with the assurance that cyber security measures are in place.

The basic controls within Cyber Essentials were chosen because, when properly implemented, they will help to protect against unskilled internet-based attackers using commodity capabilities – which are freely available on the internet. Organisations that undertake Cyber Essentials are encouraged to re-certify at least once a year and, where appropriate, progress their security.

Wilson from NEBRC continues: “Cyber Essentials aims to help organisations of any size and from any sector implement basic levels of protection against cyber-attack, demonstrating to their customers that they take cyber security seriously.

“The NEBCR has recently attained Cyber Essentials Self-Assessment certification and the process does not need to be either onerous or expensive if businesses are guided in the right way to ensure appropriate IT hygiene and a more secure working practice for all employees.”

The NEBRC is not-for-profit collaboration project between businesses; Northumbria and Sheffield Hallam Universities; and seven police forces in North East England, funded by both private and public sector partners. The seven police forces involved in the collaboration include Northumbria, Cleveland, Durham, North Yorkshire, Humberside, West Yorkshire, and South Yorkshire.

The NEBRC forms part of a business/cyber resilience centre network which is being developed by Business Resilience International Management (BRIM).

There are a wide range of membership levels available, both free core membership and paid membership opportunities, enabling businesses to benefit from the unique level of guidance and expertise. Under the Curious Frank division, there are also a range of business/cyber resilience services available, delivered by a group of innovative and talented ethical hackers from Sheffield Hallam and Northumbria Universities.

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The North East Business Resilience Centre (NEBRC) is a non-profit organisation which exists to support and help protect North East England businesses from cyber crimes.

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