‘Cyber security cluster’ aims to strengthen firms against online crime

The Norfolk Suffolk Cyber Security Cluster is hoping to bolster the capabilities of firms in the fig

The Norfolk Suffolk Cyber Security Cluster is hoping to bolster the capabilities of firms in the fight against online attack Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new project is aiming to make Suffolk more resistent to the damaging consequences of attacks by cyber-criminals.

The 'cyber security cluster' has been set up to share knowledge, skills and capabilities in the fight against online crime.

Last year, 3,294 cyber-flagged offences were referred from Suffolk to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau by Action Fraud - a 10% annual increase, compared to a 12% rise across England and Wales.

In July, the Ipswich office of financial advisers Grant Thornton found half of companies polled across the East of England lacked a strategy to mitigate risk of cybercrime and keep the business going in the event of an attack.

Next Monday, September 16, marks the local launch of the Norfolk & Suffolk Cyber Security Cluster (NSCSC) at Innovation Martlesham, in Adastral Park.

Small and medium enterprises will be offered free membership to the NSCSC, formed by David Higgins and Darren Chapman under the umbrella of the UK Cyber Security Forum.

The NSCSC charter says: "The aim of the cluster is to support the membership by communicating national and international cyber security initiatives, producing educational lectures on specific cyber security and business issues, along with providing trade opportunities between the member businesses.

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"Working alongside the local universities and colleges, we aim to have input from and output to the local student and lecturer population.

"A tie-up with local course providers in IT and cyber security would be a huge benefit to all parties and would hope to build bridges or apprenticeship opportunities for the students and local business."

In 2015, police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, launched a Cyber Crime Unit in Halesworth to investigate all offences involving network computers or technology used in crime, including the problem of online fraud - 80% of which is thought to be preventable.

The Suffolk launch of the NSCSC takes place from 10am and includes talks from science, technology and engineering expert Professor Peter Cochrane OBE, and heads of innovation and security research at Adastral Park.

Attendance must be registered by 5pm on September 12.

Visit nscsc.org.uk for details.