SMEs within Leeds City Region to benefit from £100K cyber support

The LEP has commissioned the NEBRC to deliver cyber security support to the self-employed and micro-businesses at a time when many are facing ongoing change and disruption as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed the North East Business Resilience Centre (NEBRC) to support small and sole trading businesses across the Leeds City Region with cyber security.

Working across the region, the NEBRC is a non-profit organisation which exists to support businesses from cyber crime. The organisation offers a wide range of business-resilience services, delivered by an expert team of trusted professionals, police officers and innovative ‘ethical hackers’ from Sheffield Hallam and Northumbria University. 

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP), has commissioned the NEBRC to deliver a £100,000 programme to support the self-employed and micro-businesses of less than 10 employees across the Leeds City Region (excluding Barnsley) at a time when so many businesses are facing ongoing change and disruption as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.  

Roger Marsh OBE, DL, Chair of the LEP and NP11 comments: “The LEP is continuing to support businesses with the impact of Covid-19, and cyber security is a key part of our recovery plans to produce resilient and thriving businesses. 

“I am delighted to be working with NEBRC on our new cyber resilience programme to help those that currently need it the most.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for micro-businesses to benefit from expert advice, and I’d encourage all to get in touch and find out how they can mitigate cyber security risks and protect their business.”

The pandemic period has seen a 400% increase in cyber fraud* with statistics reflecting that small businesses - and particularly the self-employed sole trader or micro businesses - have found themselves at greatest risk and without access to relevant cyber support and services.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “As we all know, it’s currently a very difficult time for many, and that goes for business too. The last thing any SMEs need right now is a cyber-attack so it’s fantastic that £100,000 worth of extra support is being put in place for prevention initiatives. 

“These initiatives will help to safeguard against online criminals and in the current climate, suffering an attack may well mean the difference between a business staying open and closing.”

The NEBRC will work to run a dedicated outreach education programme to improved cyber resilience through assessment, testing, certification, education, and guidance - embedding free or affordable solutions where required, alongside an ongoing partnership approach. 

Commenting on the appointment, NEBRC Director and Police Superintendent. Rebecca Chapman said: “We are proud to be part of this crucial, new programme, working with SMEs across the region to support cyber security in this modern age.

“As an organisation, we work with our partners to protect people, places and processes. We are only too aware of the difficulties many micro and small businesses, in particular, are facing during this pandemic, when so many of us are working from home and reliant on new and different IT systems. We are looking forward to offering insight and support to the local and regional community to help ensure that cyber safety is a priority for all.”  

The NEBRC forms part of a national Business/Cyber Resilience Centre network which is being developed by Business Resilience International Management (BRIM).

To find out more about this programme, and to apply, visit the-lep.com/cybersecurity.