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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Hughes

NWCRC celebrates fourth birthday

Having launched in November 2019, the North West Cyber Resilience Centre is now celebrating its fourth birthday. On top of that, we recently celebrated reaching the milestone of 1000 signed-up business members across the North West.

The centre has grown enormously - and continues to grow - since it was initially set up as a trial partnership for Greater Manchester, before expanding to the whole of the North West. This year alone we have attended around 100 events and worked with 1500 people.

L-R Det Supt Jon Salisbury-Jones, Assistant Chief Constable Jo Edwards, DI Dan Giannasi, head of cyber and innovation at NWCRC, and DCI Chris Maddocks

We are extremely proud of our work to date, working alongside our brilliant stakeholders, including the police forces and the Police Crime Commissioners, the deputy mayor in Manchester, our Guidance Council and Board and the leading businesses who make up our regional partners.

The organisation was set up as a partnership between regional police forces and tech trade body Manchester Digital, in order to tackle cyber crime through prevention and education. The partnership proved highly successful early on, and became a pathfinder to the Home Office, with other regional centres subsequently being set up across the UK.

Our growing team consists of seconded police officers, ethical cyber hackers and cyber consultants, as well as marketing and sales experts.

An important part of our model is working closely in conjunction with the leading North West universities to provide paid placements for cyber students, as well as our Student Chapter events.

Katie Gallagher, cofounder of the NWCRC and managing director of Manchester Digital, said: “As a tech trade body we already knew that cyber crime and fraud was a huge threat to businesses. By setting up this partnership between regional police forces and our tech and businesses community, we are able to share knowledge, offer funded and low-cost training and educational resources and allow businesses to feel more confident in setting up good cyber hygiene.
“The North West has a strong cyber security community, compounded by GCHQ’s presence in Greater Manchester and the creation of the National Cyber Force in Samlesbury, Lancashire. Building strong, public private partnerships across the North West is the best way of ensuring that we keep our businesses and the broader community safe.”

In four years, the NWCRC has achieved a huge amount across the North West regions, working with businesses and organisations. Here’s just some of our highlights in stats:

  • Gave talks to 5000 people from businesses across the region

  • Have 1092 members across the North West

  • Delivered 150 cyber security service sessions to support businesses build resilience

  • Worked with over 40 student ethical hackers across four cohorts

  • Run five Student Chapter events, over 500 attendees from NW universities

NWCRC commercial manager Niomie Haynes at the launch of the Merseyside Cyber Security Programme in August 2023.

Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair for the Cyber Resilience Centre's Guidance Council, said:
"I'm delighted to be working with the CRC as Chair of the Guidance Council, building on the successes of the past four years since the centre began supporting businesses and preventing cyber crime in the North West.
"I'm excited to play a part in the future of the CRC, continuing to upskill organisations and the people who work in them, making it harder for online criminals to operate and target this region.
"This role aligns with my Fighting Crime Plan, which has made disrupting and dismantling organised crime gangs, which increasingly utilise digital space to take advantage of vulnerable people and businesses, a top priority.
"It's only by bringing together the right knowledge and experience, and working in partnership, that we will remain one step ahead of criminals and keep people safe."

Since launching, the NWCRC has worked closely with the different regions within the North West. In 2021, we launched our Greater Manchester cyber security programme, which was funded by the proceeds of crime funding (ARIS),

Our team provided over 200 hours of cyber security awareness training to 300 employees and engaged in 80 consultation sessions with businesses, from July 2021 to March 2023.

In August 2023, we launched our Merseyside Cyber Security Programme, which will run for up to two years, and offer free training and memberships to SMEs all across the region.

Next year will see similar schemes launched for Lancashire and Cheshire, using funds from the proceeds of crime to offer free membership and free training sessions to small businesses.


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