OPCC sets up Cyber Security Forum to help local businesses combat UKs fastest growing crime type

The Office of Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has supported the development of a new Northamptonshire Cyber Security Forum to help local businesses raise their defences against the UKs fastest growing crime type and recently held its second meeting at Northamptonshire Police HQ at Wootton Hall.

The Forum, launched in May is holding regular monthly meetings attended by IT directors, managers and specialists from over 20 local businesses and business networks.

As well as receiving free cyber-crime prevention advice, local businesses will regularly have access to specialist subject, expert briefings on current cyber threats, impacts, trends and government advice, in order to reduce the likelihood of the local economy being disrupted by sophisticated online crime.

At the last session the guest speaker was Steve Goff, a Cyber Security Specialist, from Node4. He gave a presentation and hosted a question and answer session on the potential impact to business of the forthcoming 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which is new legislation being introduced to sit alongside the existing Data Protection Act.

Simon Clifford, OPCC Strategic Technology Transformation Director said: “Cyber-crime is the UKs fastest growing crime type and it is therefore essential that we enable local businesses to protect themselves against this emerging and serious threat. In the last year alone there were 5.6million incidents of fraud and computer misuse in the UK, with best government estimates indicating that cyber-crime costs the UK £27billion a year.

“The Northamptonshire Cyber Security Forum is a self-supported group that we’ve developed to allow us and the Police to interact with business owners from across the county to help ensure they have a robust system in place to shield themselves against cyber-crime, and that they are kept up to date with emerging threats and changes to legislation.”

Police and Commissioner for Northamptonshire, Stephen Mold, added: “On entering Office I was keen to ensure that we were pro-actively tackling crime online in all its forms and having spent a career in private business, I know how serious the threat of cyber-crime can be to the local economy. 

“I’m therefore delighted that my team have developed this initiative, and I’m looking forward to watching it develop and to see the positive impact it has on the people of the county.”

 Membership of the Northamptonshire Cyber Security Forum is by invitation, and is free to IT directors, managers and specialists from any businesses operating within Northamptonshire. If you would like to take part in this special interest community, please submit a brief email detailing your position and responsibilities to Tony Cutress, Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, at anthony.cutress@northantspcc.pnn.police.uk .