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  • Writer's pictureJared Thompson

New cyber support hub launched between Bira and Cyber Resilience Centres

A new cyber security hub has been launched in collaboration between our sister centre, the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands and the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira). The leading trade association for independent retailers in the UK, Bira’s mission is to support, protect and grow the business of British retailers.


The retail industry makes up 5.2% of the UK’s economy and improving the cyber resilience of retailers has been growing in importance in recent years.


A PwC report recently revealed that cyber-attacks on retail clients had increased by over 30%, and with the opening of retail businesses having increased by 8% in the last two years, the industry is becoming more appealing to cybercriminals. Further reports suggest cyber-attacks on retailers occurred roughly 1 in every 8 days in 2021.


To help retailers across the country strengthen their cyber security and adopt basic practices, the new cyber support hub will host a range of content that is easy to follow and includes simple top tips on key topics such as two-factor authentication, and the use of passwords, applications and software updates.

Whilst the launch is happening as a result of the collaboration between Bira and the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands, the new support hub is available to retail businesses across the North West. The WMCRC alongside the North West Cyber Resilience Centre is one of 9 cyber resilience centres that have been stood up as a network to support businesses across England and Wales, giving every region its own cyber resilience centre. All members and visitors of the centres on the network are encouraged to make full use of the support hub.


Project Lead, Detective Inspector Michelle Ohren, Head of Cyber and Innovation at the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands commented: “I’m thrilled to be able to announce the launch of our new cyber support hub for Bira’s members, as I’ve seen first-hand through my policing career the devastation that cyber-attacks can cause.”


“Cyber security is not just for large companies; I can’t state that enough. We see many businesses regularly suffer cyber-attacks that can take them offline for days, weeks and sometimes permanently. It may be as simple as hackers gaining unauthorised access to your store’s social media account, and revoking your access, leaving you unable to access the account. During this time, the hackers can post content with dangerous links.”

“This would be unknown to your customers, who would then potentially buy through your platform, with the money being deposited in fraudulent bank accounts. This leads to your customer being left with no product or service. Whilst this may seem unlikely, it’s quite the opposite, and sadly just one of the ways cybercriminals can launch an attack on your business.”


Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO added: “With increased levels of online shopping it is vital for retailers to have good cyber security in place. Shoppers expect their details to be secure and good security will retain consumer confidence. This Hub is an excellent way of informing and helping independent retailers.”


Retailers based in the North West are encouraged to sign up for our free membership and read further guidance for retail and eCommerce stores on our website.

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