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London mayor and police join forces against SME cyber crime



Hacking into hardware and network ransomware cyber security concept with skull warning
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London’s Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, British Transport Police and the mayor’s office have jointly launched a new Cyber Resilience Centre for the capital city to combat rising levels of cyber crime.

Research by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which is part of the City of London Police, revealed that over £1.8 billion was lost to fraud and cyber crime in London in the last 12 months.

Small businesses made up 35% of those organisations that suffered at least one cyber breach, the Bureau said: “This crime type is rapidly increasing, and often initially unseen, and yet has devastating effects on businesses and individuals,” said Metropolitan Police Commander Catherine Roper.

Phishing, ransomware and hacking are the most common attacks.

The mayor’s office said London’s new Cyber Resilience Centre (CRC) would be made up of industry experts, as well as cyber security professionals from the Met Police, the City Of London Police and the British Transport Police. Small businesses will be the primary focus of the CRC. 

Big investment

“Over the next three years, the centre aims to help support around 20,000 London businesses most vulnerable to attacks, providing small business owners with practical online safety advice and face-to-face visits. The mayor is investing £200,000 to support the centre’s community outreach programme, which includes the development of self-help toolkits for businesses and ‘how to’ video guides on improving their resilience against cyber attacks,” a statement said.

The mayor’s office said the CRC would provide a membership model offering safety advice, cyber threat reports, guidance and a contact team for urgent issues. “Our new Cyber Resilience Centre will help businesses stay safe online and protect them from cyber criminals. This is all part of our work to build a safer, more prosperous city for everyone, and I urge all businesses in London to sign-up and use the centre’s services,” said Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden.

“I’m really ambitious about the future of the CRC for London,” said its chief executive officer Simon Newman. “I want to see it grow as a partnership between policing, industry and academia; for us to be seen as a trusted, reliable partner.”

In addition to the funding from the mayor’s office, cyber resilience centres receive an annual grant from the Home Office to support businesses.

UKAuthority recently held its annual Resilience and Cyber4Good - this year on how to  strengthen cyber defences and keep vital public services running in the face of new threats. On-demand videos of all sessions and speaker slides are available here

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