Businesses across Staffordshire are the first to be trained for the new initiative, which has been launched by Staffordshire’s Online Fraud Forum. The partnership of local business and public sector organisations is chaired by Sue Arnold, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire.
The free training gives Staffordshire businesses the chance to get cyber savvy and stay one step ahead of online fraudsters, with designated workplace champions. Max from the NBCC was there to receive the training as well!
Speaking about the initiative, Sue Arnold said: ‘It’s all too easy to fall foul of online fraud, and the consequences can be devastating. We all have to become smarter if we’re going to reduce the impact of this kind of crime and this free training will enable businesses to stay ahead of the fraudsters. The new Cyber Crime champions will be the first point of contact for information and will be able to share it easily and quickly with their colleagues’
Last year, online fraud and cyber crime was estimated to have cost £11 billion pounds and fraudsters are increasingly targeting businesses large and small.
Staffordshire ACC Emma Barnett said: ‘Cybercrime is a real and current threat to local businesses due to emerging digital crime trends over the last decade.
‘This initiative will help make it more difficult for criminals to target businesses across Staffordshire by raising awareness of the current cyber threats and sharing information on how to protect themselves and prevent cyber-attacks in the future’.
The training was first delivered yesterday by Staffordshire Police’s Crime Prevention Design Advisor, Kate Dempsey and Staffordshire’s Digital Police Community Support Officer.
Kate Dempsey, (lead advisor on the training), said: ‘Introducing a cyber champion into the workplace will in itself raise awareness of online safety. ‘This is a really good opportunity for businesses to get free advice and training.
PCSO Matthew Hough-Clewes is one of less than 10 throughout the UK and took on the role to protect the public and businesses from online fraud in December last year.
‘I have visited a number of groups and organisations, showing them how to protect themselves online and not be tricked into giving away information to the wrong people’ he said. ‘I’m really excited about this new Cyber Champion initiative and look forward to helping businesses in Staffordshire improve their cyber security’.
Forum member Karen Woolley, Federation of Small Businesses for Staffordshire and West Midlands development manager, said: ‘This training is really important for the businesses we represent to ensure they understand the risks of cyber-crime and make sure they have plans in place to protect their businesses from cyber attacks’.
If you are elsewhere in the UK get in touch with the NBCC at https://nbcc.police.uk/contact/ to see if there is anything similar in your area or how you can get involved.