Cyber security body launches for East of England

A new cyber security body that aims to develop the industry and support businesses in the East of England to manage their risks has been launched.

Cyber East works alongside the UK Government to provide a platform for collaboration and growth within the cyber security industry. Backed by funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport alongside the UK3C initiative, Cyber East is a cluster with a presence in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, which will grow to cover all six counties in the East.

Darren Chapman, the IoD’s cyber and information security ambassador for Norfolk, is a director at Cyber East.

He explained that cyber and information security is a broad field. Effectively securing the data we use to run our businesses and the systems that process and store it requires a combined focus on people, process and technology.

As the operating model for SME’s becomes more digital and connected it can be a daunting task to keep the business up to date and delivering for customers, but also to protect it from the growing number of threats these changes present.

Cyber East provides insights and support to help directors to connect with one another and navigate the unknowns of cyber and information security.

Darren said significant cyber-crime incidents in the East of England had been reported in the legal, education and retail sectors. Losses between January and July 2021 in the East alone were more than £233m, according to Action Fraud.

The Cyber East cluster wants to work with businesses that recognise the need to build their cyber resilience and better protect their organisation from the increasing risks from cyber-attacks. In order to share knowledge, skills, and capabilities across the region Cyber East will build a network of partnerships with a range of organisations working across academia, research, training and innovation in the cyber industry.

Darren said: “Businesses and organisations looking for help in this area can find it difficult to know who to turn to and which elements of cyber security they should invest in as a priority.

“Outside of the big players, there are very few companies that can cover all the important aspects of security, and often assistance from a number of different providers, each with specialist focus and experience in their particular area is best.

“One of the key aims of cyber security clusters such as Cyber East is to bring these companies together and facilitate collaborative cyber security services that are in the best interests of companies in the region, and to help members ask the right questions and gain the best advice.”

With an increased focus from UK government on security of the business supply chain and possible future regulations for managed service providers, the launch of Cyber East is well-timed.

If you would like to know more, visit the Cyber East website or contact [email protected].

Darren Chapman is the IoD’s cyber and information security ambassador for Norfolk and a director at Cyber East. He is director and principal security consultant at Norwich-based cyber security consultancy CyberScale and has worked in the IT and technology industry for more than 20 years.

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