In our final Digitober blog, Sean Martin of Stockport Libraries looks back on a recent workshop organised by libraries in conjunction with the Greater Manchester Digital Security Hub.

In an era where cyber threats continue to loom over businesses, the need for robust cybersecurity measures has never been greater. Recent statistics reveal that four in ten businesses in the U.K. have experienced cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the last 12 months, and during the height of the pandemic, there was a staggering 31% increase in such incidents. 

The Greater Manchester Digital Blueprint ambition to be a top five European digital city region places cybersecurity at the forefront of digital innovation. In early 2021, the Greater Manchester Digital Security Hub (DiSH) was set up, operated by a consortium headed up by Barclays Eagle Labs. This facility aims to stimulate economic growth while equipping local businesses with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves. 

Nearly every organisation uses some form of digital technology, which means that nearly every organisation must consider cybersecurity. This includes social enterprises and community groups and support was recently extended to Stockport’s DigiKnow Alliance partnership and the wider voluntary and community sector in Stockport. 

Cyber Security Basics workshop

Stockport Central Library was the location for a free Cyber Security Basics workshop for social enterprises, charities, not-for-profits and Community Interest Companies (CICs) run by Barclays DiSH and Lead Academic partner Lancaster University, which is triple accredited in Cyber Security excellence by the NCSC. 

The course was non-technical and accessible to all regardless of level of technical ability. The workshop aimed to empower local community organisations with the fundamental principles of cyber security, helping them safeguard their data, customers and reputation while growing their business. The topics covered were:

  • the basics and key fundamentals of cyber security
  • how to protect your business and customers’ data
  • better understanding essential cyber best practices
  • demystifying terminology, jargon and current threats and trends 

Feedback from workshop participants was positive and constructive and participants found the workshop to be a good introduction to cyber security.

It was thought-provoking and interesting, with practical suggestions and discussion

Workshop participant

I really enjoyed the workshop.

Workshop participant

Lots of good information on things I should not do, like using free Wi-Fi on the train.

Workshop participant

Following the workshops and online learning modules, participants had the option to book a one-to-one action planning and feedback session with a member of the team. 

If you missed this session, we are planning to run another one, so please get in touch if you’d like to be added to the list. The programme is fully funded through the DiSH consortium which means there is no cost to participating organisations. The only requirement is that you have an active presence in the Greater Manchester area.

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