Company: North West Cyber Resilience Centre
Managing Director: Katie Gallagher
About North West Cyber Resilience Centre
The North West Cyber Resilience Centre (NWCRC) was set up in 2019 as a police-backed not-for-profit organisation to reduce the growing threat of cyber fraud and cyber attacks against businesses.
Cyber crime now represents 42% of all reports in the UK (Action Fraud) and the Government estimates the cyber threat costs the UK as £27bn (Cabinet office/ Detica). However, this year’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey from the Government tells us that only one in three businesses have undertaken cyber security risk assessments in the last year.
Cyber breaches and attacks can bring any business to its knees, and some will not be able to recover. The sheer volume of cyber crime makes it almost impossible for police to investigate and secure convictions.
Since launch, our Greater Manchester initial focus area was rolled out to the whole of the North West, and was set up as a pathfinder for the Home Office, leading to other independent regional organisations being created.
We have an influential network of partners including founding partners Siemens; Northrop Grumman and Salesforce. We also have a Guidance Council made up of business and IT leaders to help shape strategy and bring their expertise to the table.
Our team consists of seconded senior police officers from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, student cyber security consultants, plus a client services and marketing team who works closely with regional businesses.
As well as being founder of this organisation, I am also the managing director of regional trade body Manchester Digital.
This is a truly innovative organisation, offering trusted and knowledgeable education and training to businesses.
What We Do
We have a range of affordable offerings for businesses to help them become cyber secure, which includes: security awareness training, simulated phishing exercise, website and network vulnerability exercises, digital footprint assessments and cyber risk exposure assessment. We also work closely with businesses who have suffered a cyber breach to help them become more cyber secure.
We have launched free membership programmes with 300 places in both Greater Manchester and more recently Merseyside, which have been funded by regional police and the Police Commissioner.
Overall, the NWCRC is a hugely successful partnership between police and private businesses, which has created much greater understanding and awareness of cyber crime, its devastating impacts and how to prevent such attacks.
We have now reached 1000 members, and are pushing to grow membership in Lancashire and Cheshire. Through the free Greater Manchester programme, 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.
Businesses who engaged with the programme reported that they felt more equipped to deal with cyber-attacks, and many had taken vital steps such as training staff or introducing new policies since being part of the training.