Cyber programme to protect more Lancashire businesses and help them adapt during pandemic


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A team of leading cyber experts at one of the UK’s top universities is helping organisations across Lancashire to protect their businesses, adapt, innovate, and create new ways of generating income during the pandemic.

Focusing on creating strong business strategies, and supporting the development of innovative products and services in a world that is increasingly reliant on digital platforms, the £2.1 million ‘Lancashire Cyber Foundry’ has engaged with more than 120 small and medium sized enterprises across the county so far. 

The Foundry is now launching its next event on hacking this March 31st from 10-11.30am, and a third round of Business Strategy Support Workshops starting May 11th.

The Lancashire Cyber Foundry is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Due in part to the new ways of working, 2020 saw an increase of cyber-attacks on small businesses, increasing financial pressures and putting more pressure on equipment.

Businesses are invited to join the team for the “Could we hack your business” event on March 31st and engage with like-minded business owners where they will hear from an ethical hacker, local business and a technical manager from Lancaster University to discuss where businesses are most vulnerable and find out how they can protect them.

The Lancashire Cyber Foundry also offers a fully-funded business strategy programme comprising of a blend of three online workshops, online learning and one-to-one bespoke business support to help SME's to innovate and develop strategies to take their ideas forward.

The workshops give organisations a better understanding of the need for cyber security and to support them to innovate through increased cyber security capacity. Participants work in small groups, partaking in online modules to provide an overview of the current cyber technologies, using models and tools to evaluate how to increase business growth, stability and security.

Alastair Richards, Chief Executive Officer at North-West Cancer Research, explained how the business strategy programme has helped his organisation adjust during the pandemic:

“Lancaster Cyber-Foundry helped us to move our organisation forwards and to create new ways of generating income when the pandemic took away so many of the routes through which we had always worked. The team worked with us to create well thought through tools which would help us to understand our customers needs and to make contact with them. 

“However, it also provided for us new frameworks in which to think about our strengths and vulnerabilities and ways of approaching the challenges that we face. The workshop sessions were valuable and provided useful networks along with a host of materials and techniques which we will keep using into the future.”

“The pandemic has shown us all just how valuable digital services are to business to help them adapt and diversify. We are passionate about helping companies across Lancashire to release new products, grow in size and revenue, and to do this securely. We encourage businesses across all sectors in Lancashire to register to take part in our events and workshops and see how we can help them prepare for their digital future,” said Rebecca Robinson, Business Support and Project Manager, Lancashire Cyber Foundry, Lancaster University.

The Lancashire Cyber Foundry is based on a proven model that draws on successful elements from Lancaster University’s other business-focused cyber projects, including the Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry (also part-funded by the ERDF), which supports SMEs in Greater Manchester, and shares the same principles of sharing expertise to help defend, innovate and grow businesses.

Businesses are invited to join the team for the next programme of three workshops starting on 11th May 2021, 9.30am – 12.30pm, which provides an introduction and focusses on ‘Secure Digitalisation’ and ‘Cyber Security Education.’

To register for the workshops please see https://bit.ly/3bK30gq.

To register for the “Could we hack your business” event please see http://bit.ly/lcfmar31.

For more information about Lancashire Cyber Foundry, click here to view an animation: https://www.linkedin.com/company/lancashire-cyber-foundry/videos/

or visit www.lancashirecyberfoundry.org.uk

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