Cyber Quarter Joins ISC2 Official Training Partner Programme to Advance Cyber Security Training

Cyber Quarter Midlands Centre for Cyber Security, a leading institution dedicated to advancing cyber security professionals’ education and services, is thrilled to announce it has become an Official Training Partner (OTP) of ISC2, the world’s leading non-profit member organisation for cyber security professionals. This partnership aims to bolster cyber security training initiatives and equip UK professionals with the skills and expertise needed to combat evolving cyber threats effectively.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the demand for skilled cyber security professionals has never been higher. The UK cyber workforce gap alone has reached a record high, with 73,439 professionals needed to adequately safeguard digital assets. Furthermore, 93% of UK cyber security professionals are experiencing skills gaps at their organisations. This collaboration brings together the expertise and resources of Cyber Quarter and ISC2 to address the demand for skilled professionals by improving cyber security knowledge and capabilities, as well as expanding the pool of certified individuals.

Cyber Quarter will offer dedicated training programmes using ISC2 materials and authorised instructors to prepare individuals at all stages of their cyber security careers to obtain ISC2 certifications, including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certifications, among others. Professionals undertaking training for ISC2’s cyber security certifications will benefit from expert-led sessions covering domains aligned with the certification exams.

Prof Prashant Pillai, Managing Director of Cyber Quarter and Pro-Vice Chancellor, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, “This collaboration between Cyber Quarter and ISC2 marks a significant milestone in our mission to empower cyber security professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their careers. Together, we will contribute to a more secure digital landscape by providing high-quality professional training and certifications.”

Marc Barfoot, Manager of Commercial Partnerships at ISC2, said, “We are thrilled to announce Cyber Quarter as an Official Training Partner of ISC2. As global and national cyber threats escalate, the need for education to help collectively defend against tomorrow’s cyber risks has never been more important. Our partnership will enable Cyber Quarter students, from a diverse range of backgrounds in the UK, to develop core skills within all areas of cyber security. Through official training, individuals can access relevant, up-to-date course content for our premier cybersecurity certifications, enabling them to achieve their professional goals and further their careers.’’

This partnership represents another step forward in addressing the global shortage of skilled cyber security professionals and underscores the commitment of both Cyber Quarter and ISC2 to advancing cyber security education to make a lasting impact on the cyber security landscape.

For more information about Cyber Quarter and its cyber security training programmes, please visit   

About Cyber Quarter

The trail-blazing Cyber Quarter Ltd is a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council. The centre is based on Skylon Park, Hereford’s Enterprise Zone and a key player in the Cyber Valley (home to 15% of the UK’s top 600 cyber companies) that spans Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

Cyber Quarter provides a range of cyber security services from bespoke Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training courses, industry recognised vendor certification courses, as well as a range of cyber products, services and consultancy to protect your business.

About ISC2

ISC2 is the world’s leading member organization for cyber security professionals, driven by our vision of a safe and secure cyber world. Our more than 600,000 members, candidates and associates around the globe are a force for good, safeguarding the way we live. Our award-winning certifications – including cyber security’s premier certification, the CISSP® – enable professionals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities at every stage of their careers. ISC2 strengthens the influence, diversity and vitality of the cyber security profession through advocacy, expertise and workforce empowerment that accelerates cyber safety and security in an interconnected world. Our charitable foundation, The Center for Cyber Safety and Education, helps create more access to cyber careers and educate those most vulnerable. Learn more and get involved at Connect with us on X, Facebook and LinkedIn.

High School Explores Cyber Security at Midlands Centre for Cyber Security

On Wednesday 19th July, Wigmore High School embarked on an enlightening journey into the realm of digital protection during a visit to the Midlands Centre for Cyber Security.

Cyber Quarter hosted two immersive sessions filled with engaging activities that included interactive cyber security games, informative talks, and hands-on demonstrations. The aim was to not only capture the students’ attention but also to spark their curiosity for cyber security.

A highlight of the Cyber Discovery Day was the demonstration of the state-of-the-art Cyber Range. Equipped with cutting-edge cyber security equipment, the range showcased live software which reported the current threat landscape across the world. Student were also provided with web tools which enabled them to identify whether their email addresses had been compromised in any data breaches. This practical exercise underscored the vulnerability of personal data in the digital age and further reinforced the importance of implementing robust security practices.

Students left with a deeper understanding of the digital world and a heightened awareness of potential online risks.

For school visit enquiries please complete the enquiry form below:

Cyber research academic honoured in New Year awards list

A University of Wolverhampton academic has been awarded an MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours List. 

Professor Prashant Pillai, Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Centre Director for the Midlands Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Wolverhampton, will receive the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) at a ceremony being held at Buckingham Palace next year.

The New Year Honours list recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom. An MBE is an award given by the King to an individual for outstanding service to the community or local ‘hands on’ service. 

Professor Pillai’s education and training is in Electronics and IT security with interest in Artificial Intelligence and he has over 20 years’ award-winning success behind him, recognised for his progressive vision and academic leadership. 

He has led numerous research projects in the areas of networking protocols and cyber security. His current role as Director of the partnership project in Herefordshire – Cyber Quarter – The Midlands Centre for Cyber Security – sees him pursuing the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and developing novel security solutions for safety-critical systems. His research aims to understand and solve security threats in cyberspace, expanding knowledge of cyber-crime on a large scale, with the aim of protecting the smart cities of the future. 

Throughout his career, Professor Pillai has been recognised for his research efforts, including awards for performance recognition, best paper, excellence in achievement, and excellent achievement in research. He has also delivered several keynote talks, invite talks, and panel talks, to sharing his vast knowledge and specialisations with colleagues and partners from across the world.  

Professor Pillai has attained an enormous number of accomplishments in the 20 years since studying his Master’s degree in Informatics. He has published over 100 papers furthering international understanding of cybercrime, systems, security, and other associated topics. He continues to develop innovative education programmes and direct important research projects to increase global understanding of the threats we face as technology continues to progress. Professor Pillai is also globally renown for positively transforming academic departments and research groups, driven by his willingness to lead and empower those he works alongside, building groups and organisations into bodies with positive working cultures and thriving levels of success.  

The work that Professor Pillai had dedicated his life to is important to almost every aspect of society and helps to ensure that the systems of the future remain safe from malicious influence and harm.

Professor Pillai was invited to join the UK Government Cybersecurity Advisory Board (GCAB) earlier this year. The Government Cyber Security Strategy (GCSS) was launched in January 2022 outlining the vision to ensure that core government functions are resilient to cyber attack, strengthening the UK as a sovereign nation and cementing its authority as a democratic and responsible cyber power. 

December 2022 – Cyber research academic honoured in New Year awards list – University of Wolverhampton (

Cyber Quarter – Strengthening business resilience, one person at a time!

Although it can be quite daunting, one of the best ways to realise the importance of sound cyber security is through knowing the facts. 

According to Hiscox, one small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds. Every day, it is estimated that there are around 65,000 attempts to hack small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs), with around 4,500 being successful. That’s a massive 1.6 million SMBs in the UK every year. 

Furthermore, research demonstrates that one of the leading causes of cybersecurity breaches is due to human error. In 2021, it was found to be responsible for 95% of breaches, which has understandably led to the call for attention to be drawn to Human Factors. 

In cybersecurity, human factors refer to the situations when the human error results in a successful data or security breach; it can be said that humans are the weakest component in terms of security and imply the greatest risks and threats for any business or organisation. Unfortunately, a growing factor that is influencing human error is increased levels of stress. 

According to CIISec’s 2020/2021 State of Profession report, 557 security professionals have said that stress has become a major issue in recent years, with 80% also saying that they have seen the first-hand effects of stress on their staff. This is concerning as research has shown that, when people are stressed, they are more vulnerable to the attempts of cyber criminals. 

To raise awareness of this, the Cyber Quarter recently held a workshop at the Cyber Quarter building in Hereford entitled ‘People – The Hidden Human Cost of Cyber’ as part of a Business Resilience Programme. The aim of this workshop was to share insights with local businesses on how, by de-risking your people’s behaviours, de-risking your contracts and optimising your insurance, you can actually thrive after a cyber-attack and not just survive.  

Along with Clare Murphy & Rebecca Kirk from Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd, the Cyber Quarter were joined by Human Factors Specialist Ellen Kay.   

“Our people are not only our greatest asset but our greatest liability. You don’t hire your greatest insider threat you create them OR you give them your password! We can de-risk our organisations if we de-risk the thinking and behaviours of our employees. There is also a significant benefit by taking professional advice in advance of an attack and not afterwards. The most significant one is cost savings. Creating a culture of resilency will enhance not only performance but reduce risk. And at a time of huge economic change it is never more important to take care of your costs, your contracts, your supply chain, your customers, your employees and your market position. If you take action you can take control.” Ellen Kay. 

Here is some feedback from the session: 

“Invaluable advise”, “Thank you, thank you, thank you”, “Informative case studies”, “A great format” 

All the businesses who attended the workshop were able to apply the insights from the session into their own business. New employment contracts are being drafted, bespoke workshops are being discussed for a clients’ client-base and another company has signed up for our complete Human Factors programme. If you’re a business looking for support to improve your cyber resilience, feel free to send us an enquiry via the Cyber Quarter website, or send us an email via the address below. 


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Family Cyber Discovery Day at Cyber Quarter Draws Enthusiastic Crowd for a Day of Cyber Security Fun and Learning

In a bid to promote cyber security awareness and digital safety among families, Cyber Quarter hosted the highly anticipated Family Cyber Discovery Day at the Midlands Centre for Cyber Security on Tuesday 25th October, attracting families from across Herefordshire.

The Family Cyber Discovery Day consisted of interactive activities and engaging workshops, making it a memorable experience for participants. Families gathered to explore the fascinating world of cyber security through online games catered to different age groups, educational talks, and an engaging Cyber Maze challenge designed for families to navigate together.

One of the highlights of the event was the presence of Boston Dynamics’ agile mobile robot dog, Spot. Attendees were treated to engaging demonstrations showcasing Spot’s incredible capabilities, allowing families to witness first hand how robots like Spot can assist in various scenarios and tasks.

The primary goal of the event was to promote digital resilience and empower families to stay safe online. With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats and online dangers, the need for such awareness initiatives has become paramount and the event provided families with valuable skills and knowledge to navigate the digital world securely.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response and impact on the community, Cyber Quarter are now putting plans in place for the next Family Cyber Discovery Day.

To access additional details about the upcoming 2023 Family Cyber Discovery Day, please complete our enquiry form using the link provided below.

Enquiry Form – Cyber Quarter

InfoSec 2022 – Representing the Midlands Cyber Ecosystem

On the 21st through to the 23rd June, the Cyber Quarter attended Infosecurity Europe 2022 at the Excel in London.

Infosecurity Europe is considered the biggest gathering of the information security community in Europe, which nurtures the growth of the cyber security community through innovation and knowledge sharing, testing and benchmarking solutions, building relationships and driving new businesses. During this 3-day event, Infosec Europe brought together under one roof expertise and knowledge from the world’s finest cybersecurity experts, with the aim of connecting practitioners with suppliers to find true solutions and bringing together industry peers to network, share and to grow stronger and more resilient together.

The Cyber Quarter joined forces with other businesses in the region to represent the Midlands Cyber Ecosystem. We showed not only what the Midlands has to offer in terms of cyber security, but also the strength of the cyber community and the bonds that local businesses share.

Our Knowledge Transfer Manager/Cyber Security Consultant, Oluwafemi Falobi, represented the Cyber Quarter at the event and successfully showcased the Cyber Quarter’s services and offerings, whilst making meaningful connections with other like-minded people.

We caught up with Femi to find out more about his time at Infosec 2022:

Oluwafemi Falobi, Knowledge Transfer Manager/Cyber Security Consultant

“Infosec brought together some of the finest minds within the cyber security community, alongside innovative solutions to new and existing cyber security issues.

Being a part of Infosec Europe 2022 was an amazing experience, which gave me the opportunity to meet knowledgeable and experienced local and international cyber professionals across various information security subdomains.

The atmosphere at Infosec provided opportunities to find new solutions that could be integrated into business processes to increase business resilience thereby ensuring business continuity as well as created great networking opportunities that fosters collaboration and birth of new solutions to problems that plague our cyber space.

I really enjoyed the experience as it has opened doors for partnerships, innovation, and collaboration, which in turn helps maintain a healthier and safer cyber space for all.

Being granted the opportunity to represent the Cyber Quarter and exhibit its service offerings alongside other amazing companies jointly forming the Midlands Cyber Cluster was a major highlight. Engaging students, practitioners, and businesses seeking to know more about the Cyber Quarter’s offerings and how they can benefit and/or collaborate started off a lot of interesting conversations, which are still ongoing, and promises to positively impact all parties involved as well as the cyber community at large. If you want to know more about the Cyber Quarter’s service offerings and how you and/or your business could benefit, feel free to contact me through my email below.”

Contact Femi via his email:

For general enquiries about the Cyber Quarter’s services and offerings, please fill in an enquiry form on our website.

To keep up to date with the latest happening at the Cyber Quarter, follow our LinkedIn page:

Professor Prashant Pillai Appointed Group Chair of the IEEE UK and Ireland Blockchain Group

The Cyber Quarter are delighted to announce that in February, our Centre Director, Professor Prashant Pillai was appointed as the Group Chair of the IEEE UK and Ireland Blockchain Group.

Source: IEEE UK & Ireland Blockchain Group website

The IEEE UK and Ireland Blockchain Group was founded in November 2018 with the vision of an active and dynamic forum focused on member value. The aim of the IEEE UK and Ireland Blockchain Group is to serve as a forum for professional networking, learning, and growth for our IEEE UK and Ireland members in the rapidly emerging Blockchain field and to organise events covering the start-of-the-art Blockchain technology and applications.

Coming from their website, “Blockchain, as a disruptive technology, is a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary specialism.  It is by far the most forward thinking, impactful, and disruptive emerging technology family that the Future Directions Committee and the IEEE has sought to embrace.“

Prashant provided us with a short interview about how he feels about his new appointment and the future of the group:

Why did you get involved in the IEEE blockchain group?

I got involved in the group for 2 reasons really. Firstly, within Cyber Quarter – The Midlands Centres for Cyber security and the University of Wolverhampton, we carry out a lot of R&D around Blockchain. We have had a few externally funded projects in this area, a granted patent and a university spin-out company Cydon Ltd. Distributed Ledger technologies including Blockchains have enormous applications across various sectors and it is a key research area for us. The second reason for getting involved was to really engage with the wider community. IEEE groups like these provide an excellent forum for bringing all professionals in an area together. This not only helps with looking into current technical challenges and future R&D opportunities, but also look at how we can train the next generation of Blockchain leaders and entrepreneurs for the country.

What are you most looking forward to in this role?

I am looking forward to working with the other committee members of the Blockchain group and help develop a series of activities for the coming year. We have setup a monthly webinar series on Blockchain and are looking at other events like a Blockchain Summer School, Blockchain accelerators and an international conference around this area.

What do you see for the future of the IEEE group? How can other people get involved?

With over 100 members in the group already, it provides an excellent platform to explore the breadth and depth of Blockchain related activities in UK and Ireland. However, as DLTs and Blockchains are still a relatively new area, we know there is a lot more that can be done regionally and nationally. We want more organisation to join the group and help shape the activities of the group. The membership is open to everyone in UK and Ireland. Anyone who is interested can directly contact us via our website or LinkedIn Group page.

The newly formed UK & Ireland Blockchain Group is currently seeking members with relevant competence and interest in all domains and specialisms. With more than 421,000 IEEE members in more than 160 countries, now is the perfect time to find out more information about IEEE and this Blockchain group. Follow the links below to stay up to date with upcoming events and activities of the group.

Website IEEE UK and Ireland Section:

Website IEEE UK and Ireland Blockchain Group:


Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands – Cyber Working Group

On the 3rd  March, the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands hosted the first official meeting for the Cyber Working Group – chaired by the Director of the Cyber Quarter, Professor Prashant Pillai, and co-chaired by the Project Manager of the Cyber Quarter, Hugo Russell.

The hour and a half meeting saw over 40 attendees interested in building the Cyber Ecosystem share ideas and collaborate on the future of the working group and its goals, including talks from DCMS (Daljinder Mattu) & Midlands Cyber and agenda items such as a ‘review of the National Cyber Strategy Pillar 1 objectives’ and ‘resource mapping’ to review the regions strengths and capabilities.

The Cyber Working Group is focused on collaborating and finding new approaches to accelerate the adoption and commercialization of cyber security procedures, policies, platforms, and solutions. The organisation is sharing insights and best practises on relevant and developing cyber technologies that are utilised to give value to consumers through this collaborative development and promotion. The group’s strength stems in part from its knowledge of a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, defence, finance, and rail, as well as its wide customer and supply chains.

The group will also collaborate to shape the strategies, regulations, and operational elements required to maximise the region’s strong technology and business services networks, with the goal of developing the West Midlands Cyber Ecosystem.

Cyber security is vital to the West Midlands’ operational well-being, with the region having a strong history of technological innovation and adoption. Here, the Cyber Working Group come together for the chance to make the West Midlands more resilient, while strengthening its cyber innovation capability by bringing together cyber related organisations and influencers, including; SMEs, academics, the public sector, and support organisations.

The group is open to anyone that is interested in cyber and the cyber community, so for your chance to be a part of the West Midlands Cyber Ecosystem, save the dates in your diary of the upcoming Cyber Working Group meetings and follow the Innovation Alliance for registration details:

Upcoming dates:

  • 12th May, 10-11:30am
  • 7th July, 10-11:30am
  • 8th September, 10-11:30am
  • 10th November, 10-11:30am             

Source: Innovation Alliance

New cyber centre secures two coveted construction awards

The new Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security building based in Herefordshire has secured two coveted top prizes at the Constructing Excellence West Midlands Awards 2021.  

CE Midlands is the organisation charged with driving the change agenda within the East and West Midlands Construction industry through collaborative working. 

The centre is a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council and part-funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund, via the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The project, a partnership that included Speller Metcalfe, Hybrid Structures, Associated Architects, Cundall, Ramboll, Gleeds and Couch Perry Wilkes as well as the University’s Estates and Facilities Team, scooped the Building Project of the Year Award as well as being announced joint winners for the Integration & Collaborative Working Award at the ceremony held in Edgbaston recently. 

Adrian Speller, Technical Director of constructor Speller Metcalfe who was appointed contractor on the project, said: “Having personally grown up in Herefordshire, it’s been fantastic to work with the project partners to construct a building that has generated significant social return on investment through its delivery. 

“Project partners experienced a number of challenges getting the project to site in the first place and it took a lot of value engineering to do that. But every time we hit a challenge, the team just pulled together remarkably. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have been recognised for our efforts. The building is now an extraordinary landmark at Skylon Park and undoubtedly will be integral and instrumental in shaping the landscape of cyber security at a local, national and international level.”  

Warren Jukes, Managing Director of Associated Architects, said: “The Cyber Quarter project is the result of a huge effort and support from multiple partners. This award is a testament to all those involved, and we look forward to watching as the building provides significant resources for the University’s research and development in Cyber Security.”

Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security offers a package of tailored security testing, training, Research & Development and sector expertise to businesses and investors. 

Supported by the university’s Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute (WCRI), the centre will offer product testing and certification, CPD and short courses and cyber conferences such as the recent Cyber Fringe Festival attracting experts from across the globe.  

The 2,000 square metre building will provide significant resources for research and development across three cyber laboratories, advanced training facilities as part of the University’s Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute and additional business space for up to 16 cyber companies. 

The centre, which secured £2.82m of funding via the Marches LEP’s Growth Deal with Government in 2017, is part of the new Cyber Quarter at Skylon Park, already home to numerous defence and security sector businesses. 

The new centre incorporates a full height glass atrium to provide a dual break-out space and function hall, alongside the main three storey building that houses business suites, innovation rooms, IT workshops and a ‘Cyber Range’ – a cutting edge facility that will defend against the global rise of hacking. 

Anyone interested in courses offered or businesses looking for incubation space can find out more about the Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security on the website. 

Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days.