300 Cyber Champions to fight online fraud

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020

THREE hundred Cyber Champions in the workplace have been trained across Staffordshire as part of an initiative to fight online fraud.

Cybercrime is a security threat facing organisations of all sizes across all sectors, along with related socioeconomic impacts such as fraud and extortion. The general public is also at risk, with people often the weakest link in the security chain.

The free Cyber Champions in the Workplace initiative was established in October 2018, in response to a growing number of cybercrimes in the region and a lack of practical knowledge among businesses about how to be safe online.

Launched by Staffordshire’s Online Fraud Forum, a partnership of local business and public sector organisations, the initiative was spearheaded by Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner Sue Arnold.

Mrs Arnold, who leads on business crime on behalf of Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime Matthew Ellis, said: ‘Crime has changed and is evolving. Traditional crime still exists but cybercrime makes up a major part of all crime in Staffordshire and across the UK.

‘This free training gives Staffordshire businesses the chance to get cyber-savvy and stay one step ahead of online fraudsters by having designated workplace Cyber Champions.’

Deputy Commissioner Sue Arnold with some of the Cyber Champions

Deputy Commissioner Sue Arnold with some of the Cyber Champions

The initiative follows two years of research and stakeholder engagement and is more than an awareness programme – it is an innovative concept which trains Cyber Champions from within organisations to be more cyber resilient.

The approach focuses on behavioural and cultural change within organisations, through training and knowledge sharing in cyber-security.

The training programme was recently validated by the Department of Computing at Staffordshire University, the leading partner on evidence-based research in support of the initiative. Professor Elhadj Benkhelifa, who led the validation, commented:

‘The panel at Staffordshire University believe that the training package, as part of the Cyber Champion in the Workplace Initiative, is appropriate and academically valid.

‘The panel have highly commended the training package on several aspects, including the content, structure and methods employed.’

The training has been developed and is delivered by Staffordshire Police’s Cyber PROTECT Officer, Kate Dempsey, and West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU) Digital Police Community Support Officer Matthew Hough-Clewes.

Staffordshire Police are taking the programme forward into 2020 in partnership with Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office, WMROCU and Staffordshire University.

For more information about becoming a Cyber Champion in your workplace or to sign up for training sessions, email: CyberCrimeUnit@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk

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