Here at the Cyber Foundry we believe that we can greatly assist small to medium enterprises to defend, innovate and grow their businesses.
The Cyber Foundry is a series of multi-million pound secure digitalisation projects that have helped SMEs across both the Greater Manchester and Lancashire regions to Defend Innovate and Grow their businesses.
We achieved this through encouraging businesses to embrace innovations in digital and cyber technologies which can improve products and processes, and helping them to embed these into strategies that have allowed companies to differentiate and diversify in their market sectors, leading to significant growth.
This is why Lancaster University has taken the lead on delivering a secure digitalisation programme aimed at supporting SMEs through both the Greater Manchester region and the Lancashire Regions.
According to the NCSCs latest Cyber Security Breaches Survey around 97% of businesses use some form of digital technology. The world is growing ever more dependant on digital technologies to improve workflow, increase productivity, streamline processes, and turn previously laborious work into efficient and simple tasks. As we move into the fourth industrial revolution and the world is becoming ever more connected, with a smart device in almost every person's pocket - we must also be wary of the potential risks that are associated with digital technology.
In 2019, over 32% of businesses and charities reported that they had suffered a cyber security breach or attack over the last 12 months and the economic costs of such events can be catastrophic to many businesses. With the relatively recent implementation of the GDPR legislation it is more important than ever to ensure that customer and client data is secured, or there is an added risk of penalties and fines.
Traditionally, Cyber Security has been an afterthought by many businesses who take a reactive approach to fixing the problem as and when it occurs, which ultimately slows you down. We believe that by following embedding a series of relatively simple technical and organisational controls businesses can greatly reduce the risk and impact of cyber attacks. Our philosophy is to take on an approach of secure by design - this way, your company can innovate and grow more safely, and ultimately faster.
These projects were part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and created an entirely new approach for businesses to engage with cyber security. It is clear cyber security attacks pose a significant economic challenge nationally. The WannaCry ransomware demonstrated the potentially catastrophic impact of attacks against critically important infrastructure, and within Greater Manchester alone, the annual cost of cyber attacks has been estimated at almost £0.86bn by the Lloyds City Risk Register.
In the Greater Manchester region, Lancaster University collaborated with the University of Manchester, University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University as the lead organisation to deliver the 5 year project in the Great Manchester area. The project worked with over 200 companies to develop cyber security-based business growth and productivity strategies, and over 70 companies were helped to develop new products and services.
At the same time, Lancaster University has successfully delivered the same secure digitalisation programme to SMEs across the Lancashire region supporting a further 100 companies to develop cyber security based business growth and productivity strategies.
Should you wish to find out more about the support available for each region, then please click on the respective headers above.