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:

Meet the Neighbours Networking Event at the Midlands Centre for Cyber Security connects Local Businesses

In a bid to strengthen ties among local businesses, the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce organised a “Meet the Neighbours” networking event, free of charge, for its members in April 2023. Hosted at the Midlands Centre for Cyber Security, the session provided a valuable opportunity for start-up businesses, established enterprises and professionals from around the region to expand their network and explore new business opportunities.

The Midlands Centre for Cyber Security, a national hub for innovation and expertise, served as an ideal venue for this collaborative gathering and the centre’s impressive, open-plan atrium set the stage for productive discussions and relationship-building.

Networking sessions, like the one hosted by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, play a crucial role in promoting business growth and regional development. They also offer a platform for professionals to exchange knowledge and share similar experiences which may lead to future partnerships and ventures.

For updates on future networking events and opportunities to connect with local businesses, please visit the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s website at

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. 


Follow our LinkedIn here

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

Wolverhampton clinches ‘Cyber University of the Year’ award

The University of Wolverhampton has clinched a top award for ‘Cyber University of the Year’ at this year’s The National Cyber Awards 2022 held in London recently. 

The awards have been set up to reward those who are committed to cyber innovation, cyber crime reduction and protecting citizens online. 

The university offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes in cyber security and computer science at its Wolverhampton City Campus and it officially opened the new Cyber Quarter – The Midlands Centre for Cyber Security in Herefordshire last year.  

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

The cyber team has engaged with over 100 businesses, assisted nearly 60 SMEs to improve their cyber defences, started 30 cyber related Research and Development projects and supported over 19 new to firm or new to market products. The academic team has also helped set up 5 new cyber related spin-out companies and are leading several regional and national Cyber networks.  

Professor Prashant Pillai, Centre Director Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security and Professor of Cyber Security at the University, said: “We were delighted to have been named finalist for the second year running in these prestigious awards and it was amazing to have clinched the top prize as ‘Cyber University of the Year’ at the recent awards ceremony. 

“The expertise and specialist focus of our new centre is part of a wider, growing ecosystem of cyber sector companies based within the Cyber Quarter on Skylon Park in Herefordshire. The area is already home to a highly regarded cyber economy, and the knowledge, expertise and opportunities that the centre brings along with the strong academic expertise at the University is helping to establish Herefordshire as one of the capitals of the cyber security sector. 

“It’s a magnificent new Centre that brings to Hereford a brand- new research and innovation, training and incubation hub that focuses on how we can develop the cyber skills of the future with the research and innovation that many of our companies need. This is a major innovation in the area and one that will firmly put Hereford and Wolverhampton on the map in terms of cyber security.” 

The winners were announced on Monday 26 September 2022 at the awards evening at Novotel West in London. You can see the full list of finalists on the website at www.thenational cyber 

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 cyber academic team of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the centre offers product testing and certification, CPD and short courses and cyber conferences such as the recent Cyber Fringe Festival which attracted experts from across the globe.   

The 2,000 square metre building provides significant resources for research and development across three cyber laboratories, advanced training facilities 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 which 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. 

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:

Cyber Security & Threats Briefing with the Regional Cyber Crime Unit

On the 26th May, we invited local businesses in Herefordshire to come and visit the Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security for a joint briefing between us and the Regional Cyber Crime Unit (RCCU) to hear a succinct update about the latest trends and threats in cyber at the moment and how SMEs can use this knowledge to further protect their business.

According to the recent Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, in the last 12 months, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber-attack. Within the group of organisations reporting cyber-attacks, 31% of businesses and 26% of charities estimate they were attacked at least once a week. Additionally, just over half of businesses (54%) identified in this survey have acted in the past 12 months to identify their own potential cyber security risks.

Considering these alarming statistics, we joined up with the RCCU to deliver a presentation to businesses in the area. Jack Litman represented the RCCU, and we caught up with him afterwards to hear more about his time at the Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security.

Jack is currently a student at Birmingham City University and is working towards a bachelor’s degree in digital forensics. In September 2021, he was successful in securing an internship with the RCCU and has spent the last year representing the RCCU at various events to help deliver more of these important briefings to businesses regionally.

Jack Litman, Cyber Crime Intern

“I really enjoyed networking with the local businesses around the Cyber Quarter, especially in such an amazing building and venue. It was a great opportunity to talk to people and raise awareness around what the Cyber Crime unit does and give them awareness of what we do and what support they can get from law enforcement reporting routes. It was really nice to be given a speaking slot so that I could talk all this through in a more formal setting and also give the attendees some helpful cyber tips that they could take away from the event.

In my presentation, I went over a bit about the NCSC Cyber Aware campaign and the main take aways that the attendees can think about that would massively enhance their cyber resilience in both their workspace and home space. I also spoke about reporting routes as well, so not just action fraud and cyber crime, but also how they can report things like phishing emails and texts, for example.

I think that the Cyber Quarter building is a really nice workspace and I think it’s an excellent hub of cyber security knowledge and a great place for SMEs to be.”

We’d like to give a big thank you to Jack and the RCCU team for taking the time to come and speak at the Cyber Quarter and for demonstrating how the unit supports local businesses. Stay tuned for more cyber security & threat updates to come in the future!

Jack and the RCCU team will be joining us again at our upcoming ‘meet the neighbours’ family event taking place on 14th July in collaboration with the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

To register for this event, please express interest via the link below:

To see more of Jack, follow him on LinkedIn:

To learn more about the RCCU, click here:

“It’s okay to not be okay” – Supporting each other as a community through stress

To wrap up the topics surrounding stress awareness month, we wanted to look into stress in a little more detail, – it’s causes to how we can help manage it better. For this, we asked Ellen Kay, our Human Factors Specialist, and Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor for ESET for a few words. They both identified several causes for stress and the impact it has on the cyber community.

Ellen Kay – The main cause of absenteeism in companies is ‘stress’ and anxiety related problems which then cause other health problems. And the biggest triggers are emotional and psychological stress. These then ultimately lead to other conditions and health problems, which cause people to be even more sick.

As a result of that, people become less creative. They’re less innovative. They’re less productive. They produce less outcomes. They communicate less. And they’re less engaged in the workplace. All of this is demonstrated by what they do more so than what they say. They are quiet, more reserved, and can become agitated and angry.

These negative behavioural traits then have a direct effect on profits and growth. These people also tend to be sick more frequently, they tend to be more competitive in a way that does not add real value to the business, they tend to resist change more, they’re more hostile, they’re more resentful, they’re more anxious, and ultimately more depressed. These behaviours are easy to see once we become more aware of our own body language and that of our colleagues.

Stressed employees add to the toxic environment that they’re reacting to, which then causes the environment to become more stressed, which causes people to become more reactionary. And the cycle continues. It’s a big problem all over the world.

Continuing, Jake said:

Jake Moore – There are factors that can contribute to stress in cyber security that you might not see in other areas. And one of these is that there is a cyber skills shortage, and with this you get more responsibility per job. With more people that are trained, you can distribute jobs more evenly, though because of the gap people aren’t entering the industry as much as we would’ve hoped. There’s also a lot of immense pressure on the industry because it’s linked to a business going down completely because livelihoods are attached to attacks. With this pressure and increased stress comes burnout because of constant mounting pressure. An issue is blame culture, though I think that we should move away from that and instead learn from every mistake

Ellen and Jake both have amazing insights into the topic of stress in cyber and it was really thought provoking to have conversations with them both. Interestingly, when I asked them about how we can help combat stress, they both highlighted the importance of human conversation to discuss stress in order to raise awareness to stress and to show our colleagues that they’re not alone in how they feel:

Ellen – The overarching support we can offer colleagues is 1) self-awareness i.e. be more aware of our own stress levels and what triggers cause us to have stressful reactions and behaviours and 2) behavioural changes in colleagues / changes in their body language indicating they are stressed. When we become more aware of ourselves then we can become more aware of others and help them. But awareness is not easy when we live in a state of survival (stress) most of the time and that stops us being supportive of ourselves and others.”

Jake – “I always think that cyber training isn’t just down to training but is also down to conversations and to discuss it with your colleagues. Discuss the funny things, as it all raises awareness in a very fun way. With phishing being the number one attack on businesses, why not discuss it? It just makes people that little bit more conscious about what they’re clicking on.

Talking about the human element makes people listen, they can relate to it. Put yourself into another person’s shoes and think about how can I not become another victim? That’s really powerful. Once discussions happen, people can be relieved and that stress can be taken away. I love telling people about what a fun industry the cyber security industry is. I think we can prove how fun it can be, and I think one of the best parts is the fast-moving element of it. It changes every day and it comes with its challenges that can be difficult, but that challenge is a fun challenge instead of us seeing it as something that can burn us out completely. To make it easy and open to talk about, emails from someone respected in the company just saying “it’s okay to not be okay” is really powerful. It’s good to reiterate it with a business mind. It’s okay to feel stress, or imposter syndrome. Stress has an amazing reaction that can spiral out of control and the end result can be burnout. There’s that assumption that people at the top have got it all covered, that they’re not stressed, but it’s simply not true. So, it’s good to have these conversations, and to show that everyone can have imposter syndrome to a certain extent. And working from home has made it even more difficult.”

As summarised by both Ellen & Jake, it’s important to recognise that stress affects us all, and by initiating and taking part in more of these conversations, together as a community we can break down barriers and combat stress as a collective to really drive home the message “it’s okay to not be okay”.

As part of the Human Factors programme at the Cyber Quarter in Hereford, we show people the formula to teach people how to make significant changes in their brain and body to help combat stress. To learn more, please complete an enquiry or send a direct email to our Human Factors Specialist, Ellen Kay: