North West firms committed to fighting against cybercrime have joined forces to form a cluster that will highlight the region’s technical expertise and raise security standards.
The founding members of the North West Cyber Security Cluster include 11 SMEs with a range of complementary strengths, with support from Lancaster University – an EPSRC-GCHQ Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research.
The North West Cyber Security Cluster is one of only a few initiatives of its type in the UK. The group is based on the model for the highly successful Worcestershire-based Malvern Cyber Security Cluster, which was launched in 2011 and now consists of more than 50 SMEs.
The cluster will enable businesses and organisations in the North West, and beyond, to benefit from a pool of experts with skills that can put in place protective measures to reduce the risks posed by cyber security threats.
The cluster is also ideally placed to benefit from the cutting-edge research and development activity of Security Lancaster – Lancaster University’s dedicated security research centre.
Dr Daniel Prince, Associate Director of Security Lancaster, said: “The launch of a cyber security cluster for the North West is a significant step for the industry.
“The North West has a concentration of expertise in this field. By pooling resources and knowledge the cluster aims to raise standards across the industry and to provide a first-class service to UK, and international, businesses and organisations to protect them from the ever increasing threat of cybercrime.
“The cluster will also focus on developing a strategy to export our expertise, providing a further boost to our regional economy.”
The cluster aims to raise industry standards by establishing a minimum certification level for entry to the group – with the ambition that high quality accreditation becomes the norm for all businesses operating in the cyber security sector.
Stephen Robinson, director of Mitigate – a cyber security consultancy based at Lancaster University, and founding member of the North West Cyber Security Cluster, said: “I’m delighted to chair this new cluster group which launches at a time when cybercrime continues to gain momentum.
“Reports state that businesses in the private sector are the biggest single victims of cybercrime and of these, SMEs are the most vulnerable with the average breach costing them between £65,000 and £115,000. This is why the cluster aims to provide a single unified voice for businesses on a regional and national level as well as offering services to protect businesses and offer advice in the event of a breach.
“The Government has pledged its commitment to cyber security with half a million pounds being invested in innovative research and development projects. It also fully supports and recognises the value in economic clusters such as these and how they will form an important part in the fight against cybercrime.”
Founding members of the cluster include:
- Lancaster University, Lancashire
- Mitigate Cyber Security – Lancaster, London and Manchester
- YR Free – Daresbury, Cheshire
- Riskworks – Wilmslow, Cheshire
- Encryption Box – Burnley, Lancashire
- Concert Networks – Knutsford, Cheshire
- SDS Technology – Preston, Lancashire
- Active Profile – Liverpool and Manchester
- Indelible Data – Whitehaven, Cumbria
- Receptive Solutions – Bolton, Lancashire
- Define X – Dukinfield, Cheshire
- Quality Guild – Carlisle, Cumbria
The founding businesses have a range of expertise in a number of the region’s key sectors, including transport logistics and the nuclear industry.
More information about Security Lancaster is available by visiting http://www.security-centre.lancs.ac.uk/
Media enquiries should be directed to Ian Boydon at the Lancaster University Press Office by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01524 592645.
Mitigate Cyber Security provides a range of application and network penetration testing and consultancy services for SMEs, public sector organisations and larger corporates looking to protect their business and enhance overall security of their IT systems.
As well as penetration testing, Mitigate offers services to ensure businesses remain compliant with industry information security standards such as ISO27001 for Information Security Management System.
Mitigate also offers incident response to assist businesses in the event of a breach and consultancy advice to help identify and analyse security needs.
Mitigate is based at The Quays in Salford, Sci-Tech Daresbury and InfoLab21 at Lancaster University.
For more information, see www.xyonecybersecurity.co.uk or call 0800 856 7792.