Frequently Asked Questions

We know that language within the cybersecurity sector can often appear confusing and inaccessible. Here are some explanations of the more common terms and questions. 

Where do I start with Cyber Security? 

It's important to understand the basics and why cyber security is important to all businesses regardless of size or sector. Download our Cyber Security Guide for Small Businesses.

What is a Cyber Attack? 

Malicious attempts to damage, disrupt or gain unauthorised access to computer systems, networks or devices, via cyber means. Learn more about reporting a cybersecurity incident.

How do I respond to a cyberattack on my business? 

At the Cyber Resilience Centre, we have access to trusted specialist cybercrime investigators who can support you during an attack and recover digital forensic evidence to help identify who is responsible. Learn more.

What is a Cyber Incident? 

A breach of the security rules for a system or service - most commonly;

  • Attempts to gain unauthorised access to a system and/or to data.

  • Unauthorised use of systems for the processing or storing of data.

  • Changes to a systems firmware, software or hardware without the system owners consent.

  • Malicious disruption and/or denial of service.

What is Cybersecurity?

The protection of devices, services and networks — and the information on them — from theft or damage. Download the guide.

What is Malware?

Malware is one of the most common threats to businesses and the public, it can cause devastation if it successfully infects and spreads through a computer network. Malware is a computer program that is purpose-built to damage infrastructure, spy on users, steal sensitive information or lock users out of their data and hold people to ransom.


The Most Frequently Asked Questions about Cyber Security:

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What is Malware?

Malware is one of the most common threats to businesses and the public, it can cause devastation if it successfully infects and spreads through a computer network. Malware is a computer program that is purpose-built to damage infrastructure, spy on users, steal sensitive information or lock users out of their data and hold people to ransom.

How do I protect my business from cybercrime? 

If you understand the basics of cyber security, but you're ready to learn more about the practical steps you can take next. Read more.

How can I protect myself from Ransomware?

Ransomware exploits known security vulnerabilities, make sure all your systems and applications are always updated - this reduces the risk of malware infection. Read more.

What does DDoS stand for?

DDoS is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, it’s a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.

From a high level, a DDoS attack is like an unexpected traffic jam clogging up the highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its destination.


What is Spear Phishing?

Spear Phishing is when hackers attempt to convince their targets to send sensitive information (passwords and usernames) by impersonating individuals, organisations or businesses. 

Read more information about common cybersecurity threats with the latest guidance and factsheets.

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What is Brand Impersonation?

This is where an e-commerce website or social media account is imitated for fraud. Learn more.

What is a Vulnerability Assessment?

A vulnerability assessment is a process of identifying existing weaknesses within your network. It can be host-based, network-based, wireless, application, or within your database. Learn more.

How can I stay Secure from the Most Common Vulnerabilities?

A Web Application Assessment (often referred to as Web Application Penetration Testing or Pentest) addresses the security of your website (Web application). Websites are mostly publicly available and are there to provide services for anyone with internet access. This makes them a primary target for attackers. Learn more.

What is an Extortion Attempt?

Extortion emails are often attempting to trick the victim into paying large amounts of money based on a threat to expose personal information to family, work and friends. Learn more.

What is a Smishing Text Message?

Smishing attempts are a common method of attack, often posing as well-known organisations that the target is likely to have an account with. Learn more.

What are the biggest Cyber Security Myths?

In the world of cybersecurity and cybercrime, there are a lot of misconceptions rolling around;

  • Small and medium-sized businesses aren’t targeted by hackers, cybercriminals are more interested in the larger companies.  

  • Businesses must buy expensive hardware or software solutions to implement effective cybersecurity. 

  • My business doesn’t have anything worth protecting from cyber-attacks. 

Read more in this blog post.

How much is the Cyber Security sector worth in the UK?​

The UK’s cybersecurity sector is now worth an estimated £8.9 billion. Learn more.

What is the North West Cyber Resilience Centre?

The North West Cyber Resilience Centre is a not-for-profit venture between Greater Manchester Police and Manchester Digital. 

We are here to provide businesses of all sizes with access to affordable cybersecurity services, the latest guidance and support from leading law enforcement and industry experts and help them take simple steps to protect their business from unscrupulous cybercriminals. Read more

Is the Cyber Resilience Centre UK-wide?

We were the first Centre to launch in the country, leading a growing network of regional centres being established to form a national network of Cyber Resilience Centres and BRIM.

What is the Cyber Essentials certification?

Cyber Essentials is an independently verified self-assessment certification that gives your business the protection against the most common cyber attacks.

Does my Business need Cyber Essentials Certification for Government Contracts?

Cyber Essentials is mandatory for businesses looking for specific government contracts.

Without Cyber Essentials, you will not be able to bid for such contracts. Often these contracts will involve delivering certain IT products and services and the handling of personal information. Read more.

Who are Trusted Partners of the Cyber Resilience Centre?

Our Trusted Partners are certifying bodies with premises-based and operating in the North West that have been accredited by IASME, selected by the National Cyber Security Centre to oversee Cyber Essentials.

What is a Cyber Health Check?

A Cyber Health Check is an audit of your businesses strengths and vulnerabilities, protecting your business from the latest cyber threats. Our Cyber Health Check has been designed in collaboration with Police and ISO accredited Risk Managers and is aligned to the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials certification scheme and ISO 27001.

The outcome of a Cyber Health Check provides businesses with a summary of their Cyber Risks and an action plan which will help protect them against the latest cyber threats. Learn more

Is there any funded support available to businesses in the North West to help with cyber security?

At the Cyber Resilience Centre, we have a dedicated programme to help your business stay secure from online crime through education, training and 1-2-1 support. Any business based within Greater Manchester can apply. You do not have to be a company that operates online to access the support and a deep understanding of cyber security, online or digital technology is not needed. 

This program includes three key parts:

  • Business Starter Membership - This 12-month membership which includes Security Awareness Training (for two members of staff). This ensures your staff are the strongest defence against cyber attacks by equipping them with the information they need to identify, report and stop any attempts before any damage can be done.

  • Cyber Security Policy & Procedure Templates - This documentation ensures your business has the most recent cybersecurity policies and procedures in place. They have been designed by our Cyber Security Consultants and will help staff ensure your business has clear security strategies and can respond efficiently if an incident occurs.

  • 1-2-1 Security Consultation - This consultation (up to 1 hour) allows us to work with you to review what current security measures you have in place, answer any questions you have about cyber security and work with you to create a plan for how to monitor and secure your digital footprint.

Businesses based in Greater Manchester can apply for a place on this program here.

Who are the Founding Partners?

We work with a small number of founding partners to support the critical work it does to help protect the business community across the North West from the threat of Cybercrime. The contribution from founding partners helps the centre to employ people, manage running costs and highlight the support network that is available to businesses who have suffered an attack or need cyber support services.

What is the Guidance Council?

The Cyber Resilience Centre Guidance Council is made up of representatives from across Policing, the private and public sectors and academia, to provide representation for the wider cyber interests of the North West business community.  

The Guidance Council will help to support our aims and objectives, whilst helping to shape the activity of the centre in a meaningful capacity, drawing on the expert knowledge of its members.

What is the Cyber Expert Group?

The Cyber Expert Group was established in March 2020 to bring together Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Cyber Experts based in the North West in a collaborative and non-competitive way to represent the wider cyber interest of the North West business community. 

The group works in partnership with the Cyber Resilience Centre to support our mission working with businesses to grow and strengthen their resilience against cybercrime and threats. 

Are the Cyber Resilience Centre partnered with any other organisations in the North West?​

In March of 2021, the Cyber Resilience Centre, announced its strategic partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC), the largest accredited Chamber of Commerce in the UK. Learn more

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Cyber Security Guide
For Small Businesses