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It has never been more important for businesses in Greater Manchester to reduce their risk of unauthorised access to personal information stored on smartphones, computers and the internet.

Protecting SMEs from cyber attacks is more crucial than ever before. As workforces become far more flexible, we are seeing significant increases in cyber crime in the UK. Almost half of businesses (46%) reported having cyber security breaches or attacks in the 12 months to March 2020.

It is imperative that businesses operate at a heightened level of caution. To ensure their long-term survival, companies should learn more about what a cyber attack could look like and understand the processes they can put in place to either prevent an attack in the first instance, or minimise any damage should one occur.

(Source: Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020)


What can SMEs do to protect themselves from cyber crime?

For many businesses, cyber security can often seem confusing, complex, and a task that does not easily sit with any single role in the business. Knowing which path to take, where to allocate resources and when to invest money can be a challenge.

Here are some clear and practical first steps for SMEs evaluating their approach to tackling cybercrime:

Greater Manchester’s response to cyber security challenges

When it comes to cyber, Greater Manchester is exceptionally well-placed, home to key players in the industry. The region has launched a bold plan to be one of the best places in the world for developing and harnessing digital technology, bringing direct and associated supply-chain opportunities for businesses

The Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy (June 2019) states that one of the city region's priorities is to: “Grow our existing and emerging sector strengths in cyber security, broadcasting, content creation and media, software development, digital telecoms, fintech and e-commerce.”

This includes the launch of a £10m Cyber Innovation Centre, the establishment of a Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) hub, and the £6m Cyber Foundry initiative, designed to support SMEs of all sectors with their cyber innovation.

GC Business Growth Hub is pivotal in helping SMEs identify and benefit from the significant opportunities for SMEs presented by cyber security.

Our Innovation Service works closely in partnership with GCHQ, the National Centre for Cyber Security (NCSC) and the local Cyber Resilience Centre. We are collaborating with NCSC in raising awareness locally and encouraging the adoption of new technology via new cyber pilot projects to help raise awareness in this area.

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