A cyber initiative led by Staffordshire Police, offering training to local organisations in identifying cyber-crime, has celebrated its third anniversary.
The Cyber Champion programme, launched in 2018, is supported by the police, the Fire and Crime Commissioner, Staffordshire University and the Regional Organised Crime Unit. The programme offers specific training to local organisations in identifying cyber-crime such as phishing emails, scams or cyber-attacks who will then go on to become part of the Cyber Champion network in Staffordshire.
In a world that is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, cybersecurity’s importance is on the rise. Cyber-criminals are becoming more sophisticated, changing what they target, how they affect organisations and their methods of attack for different security systems.
Now in its fourth year, Staffordshire Police are looking for more local businesses to get on board and learn about how to enhance cyber safety in the workplace, in the wider community and why it is more important than ever to protect data.
The course itself is currently free and involves half a day training session. Representatives from Staffordshire County Council, Vocare and Burton Rugby Football Club attended the most recent session.
A representative from Burton Rugby Football Club said: “The course was very interesting and I would highly recommend it to businesses who are looking to learn more about cyber-crime.
“The training has given me the knowledge and confidence to have conversations and educate others about the dangers and how to stay safe online."
Kate Dempsey Cyber Protect Coordinator who led on the course design and delivers the training said: “Attendees do not need any IT knowledge prior to coming along to the training. I would encourage all business to get on board with this initiative to raise awareness to cyber criminality and online fraud to help strengthen cyber security throughout the workplace.”
“We know what impact being a victim of cybercrime can have and programmes such as this means we can make it harder for cyber criminals to operate.”
Professor Elhadj Benkhelifa, Director of Smart Systems, AI and Cybersecurity Research Centre and Head of Professoriate at Staffordshire University, said: “This initiative has been developed on evidence-based practice through some extensive underpinning research. The initiative embeds and tests aspects of behavioural change in cybersecurity, which is the ultimate aim when addressing the human factor in cybersecurity, on top of awareness.”
“Based on evaluation results, the cyber champion in the workplace initiative has proven to be very effective in changing behaviour, at an individual level as well as organisational. After three years of research and completing the first pilot project, at Staffordshire, the aim now is to scale to other regions, following the same rigour and evidence-based approach to make businesses and their customers cyber safe.”