Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey report launch at the Cyber Quarter

On 6th December, the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce (HWCC) and the Cyber Quarter (CQ) joint-hosted the launch event of the latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) results. The event was attended by local Hereford businesses to listen to the report and to discuss how the findings could effect, or be applied to, their businesses going forward. 

Speaking on the results was Director of Business Development and Engagement at the HWCC, Robert Elliott. Following up with him post-event, he shared the importance of the QES’s and the impact that they have to local businesses:

“The Quarterly Economic Survey allows us a Chamber to gauge business performance and outlook every three months.  The survey has been gathering information since 1989 and as a result has enabled businesses to plan investment, recognise trends that might require action, and benchmark themselves against other organisations.  Measuring sales, cashflow, and recruitment, the survey acts as a barometer of economic activity for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and where challenges are highlighted such as recent concerns over energy costs and inflation alerts us to lobby local and national government via local partners and British Chamber of Commerce respectively.”

It was an honour for the Cyber Quarter to sponsor this edition of the QES and to be able to support questions in the survey based around ‘business resilience’. Through the data, the Cyber Quarter were able to identify key findings that demonstrate where businesses are in their business resilience journeys and reflect their top priorities in their disaster recovery. 

With latest research indicating that a small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds, it was reassuring to see that, according to the results from the QES, 63% of local businesses report that one of their top priorities in their business resilience is ensuring that their systems are secure. This is essential to ensure the protection of their supply chain, customer base, but also their people.

To support this, the Cyber Quarters Human Factors Specialist, Ellen Kay, gave a talk to the businesses that attended around the topic of human resilience and the importance of protecting the people within a business. Joined by Clare Murphy & Rebecca Kirk (Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd), the trio delivered insights into the people culture of a business in order to understand the hidden human cost of cyber.
Left to Right: Rebecca Kirk (HCR), Clare Murphy (HCR), Ellen Kay (CQ), Robert Elliott (HWCC)
The Cyber Quarter are able to support local businesses by offering 15 hours of fully funded support (eligibility required) to access specialist and academic expertise from the University of Wolverhampton, which may include: cyber security awareness, how to minimise cyber risk, incident response management and more. Once the initial support has been completed, the Cyber Quarter can then help deep dive into a business’s potential issues and support them further on their next steps to a secure and prospering business.

To begin your Cyber Quarter journey, send an enquiry to us via our website.

To view the full HWCC QES report, follow the link below:

Cybersecurity is more than an IT issue

When you think of cybersecurity, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? For many businesses, it is that cyber is a problem for the IT department. Although IT departments may be able to support cybersecurity issues, they are not the responsibility of IT professionals.

As more cybersecurity incidents in business create shocking headlines, cybersecurity is becoming more of a rising concern for directors and company leaders as they are being called upon to assume greater responsibility for their cyber security in the wake of attacks that have had major company impact that had led to the loss of data and assets. In a statement, the Assured Cyber Protection company said “every CEO, every chairperson, every board of directors has a moral, a legal and an ethical obligation to be a responsible when it comes to cyber security” especially as over 60% of UK companies have adopted new digital technologies (2020), which gives cyber criminals more opportunities for attacks.

Therefore, cybersecurity has evolved to be not just a technology problem, but a business problem. It is essential for businesses to have a cybersecurity strategy and incident response plan in order to identify risks and protect their data/systems from attacks.

The Cyber Quarter is committed to helping local Hereford businesses in strengthening their cyber and business resilience. On 8th December, the Cyber Quarter’s Technical Developer (Phillip Latham-Robinson) and Cyber Security Consultant (Oluwafemi Felobi) will be delivering a workshop around the topic of ‘Keeping your company data safe’ to spread awareness on how any business can use publicly available tools to monitor and add value to their product/service and security with minimal cost.

Phil & Femi were asked about the importance of the upcoming workshop on the 8th, together they said:

“Given that data is now the new gold, the value placed on securing sensitive data, such as company intellectual property, employee personally identifiable information, and operational data cannot be overlooked. All forms of attacks on organisations poses a threat to data which, if left unsecure, could have dire consequences to a business.

Due to the sensitive nature of data that companies hold, a breach could lead to consequences such as legal fines, reputational damage, identity theft, fraud amongst many other repercussions. The majority of small and medium-sized businesses never recover from a successful breach due to the irreparable damage incurred.”

The ‘Keeping Company Data Safe’ workshop will address the best practices on securing data, raise awareness on the attack lifecycle and introduce feel tools that companies can use to reduce their attack surface.
Register your space via the link below, or follow the QR code to our EventBrite page.

For further information on how the Cyber Quarter can help your businesses cybersecurity, contact us via our enquiries button on the Cyber Quarter website.