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Blackburn College to provide next generation cybersecurity training | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


L-R Lisa Edge Jon Lomas Nicola Clayton at Blackburn College (Image: Ben Cusack)

Blackburn College is leading the fight against international cybercriminals targeting local businesses.

The college has teamed up with Lancaster University to warn small and medium enterprises across Lancashire who are facing a wave of intensive scrutiny and attack from web criminals.

Businesses in Lancashire and surrounding regions are at increased risk of malevolent web activity, including cyberattacks, phishing scams and hacking.

This international attention was brought to the region following the announcement of the National Cyber Force (NCF) Centre in Salmesbury.

Blackburn College Director of Business Development and External Engagement Nicola Clayton said: “With the NCF centre in Salmesbury, we have been investing in the area to upscale cybersecurity for small and medium sized enterprises.

“Blackburn with Darwen has had quite a big investment from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which we are using to deliver cybersecurity education and training for companies in the area.”

The college is teaming up with Lancaster University to bring a series of free seminars to small and medium sized enterprises across the region to learn about cyber vulnerabilities and how they can protect themselves from unwanted intrusion and attack.

The first seminar, titled ‘Cyber Fundamentals’, is set to take place on Friday, March 8, at the college’s new cybersecurity hub in their Industry Collaboration Zone.

It is is part of an 18-month programme of business support events across Lancashire.

The project is part of Secure Digitalisation, a project supported by Lancaster University’s Cyber Works programme, which enables knowledge exchange between businesses and the Cyber Security Research Centre.

Jon Lomas, Cyber Security Partnership Development Manager, Lancaster University, said: “Identifying key points of vulnerability within a business is vital for securing your digital presence, yet it is often difficult to realise weaknesses.

“We talk businesses through how to identify those points, and how to change policy or implement new procedures to mitigate risk.”

Dr Rebecca Robinson is a programme lead from Lancaster University Research and Enterprise Services, and will be running the first session.

She said: “The aim of Cyber Fundamentals is to help businesses understand the cyber threat landscape we are in, the risks and the impacts of threats.

“Businesses are shut down every day as a result of malicious online attention, but it’s important to note that even those that survive cyberattack could suffer reputational damage.

“We want to educate businesses about how to mitigate risk of cyberattack, which can only be done by explaining the impact of risk in real terms.”

Attendees at the free event will be given expert advice and be recommended simple tools and processes that will help reduce risk.

Lancaster University School of Computing and Communications is at the forefront of a number of ground-breaking cybersecurity initiatives, aimed at educating and supporting businesses and charities, through a mixture of face-to-face workshops, online resources, advice and guidance.

Blackburn College has partnered with Lancaster University to deliver cyber and networking BSc degrees, and has the coveted CyberFirst Gold accreditation, for their commitment and dedication to delivering excellence in cybersecurity education.

Lisa Edge is the CEO of GB Shared, a business networking portal which has just launched nationwide after seeing great success in the North West.

She took part in the full Secure Digitalisation programme and credits it with giving her the security knowledge to expand her business, and leading to her winning a covered Women in Innovation Award last year.

She said: “Thanks to Secure Digitalisation, I am totally up to speed in cyber essentials.

“I would have been lost without Lancaster University, because it’s such a complex topic, I wouldn’t have known where to start.

“After the course, I qualified for the technical advancement, which allowed us to create a digital dashboard prototype.

“The knowledge gained allowed us to test and challenge our business model before going national, which was instrumental for me winning the Women in Innovation Award, as well as our national roll out.

“I got a lot from the project, and I strongly recommend it.”

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