Welsh local authority signs up to support SMEs tackle cybercrime

A Welsh council is taking up the baton in tackling the ever-increasing risk of cybercrime becoming the second local authority in the region to make cyber resilience a must-have for all businesses it tenders with.

In its ongoing commitment to safeguard businesses in the area, Swansea Council is partnering with the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales (WCRC), and is asking organisations that tender for ICT Cloud goods, services or works to, or for, the council to have Cyber Essentials or a minimum of WCRC Core Membership.

It is now the second local authority in Wales, after Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, to bring in these criteria as a ‘must-have’ as part of its procurement process ensuring an effective and simple way for contractors to understand how to increase their cyber resilience by taking simple steps.

Phil Roberts, Chief Executive of Swansea Council, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales to provide help and support to SMEs and micro businesses within our community. We are determined that Swansea businesses have in place simple measures that make themselves more resilient and have the means in which to do so. Therefore, we have introduced the need for Cyber Essentials, or at a minimum, membership of the cyber resilience centre into our procurement process for organisations within our supply chain, so they are provided with the right support to improve their cyber security. This in turn allows us to provide services across our communities in the safest way possible.”

To strengthen the cyber resilience message even further, Swansea Council is also encouraging organisations and individuals across the city to utilise the WCRC services which helps protect supply chain businesses and third sector organisations in Wales against cyber-crime.

Director of the WCRC, Detective Superintendent Paul Peters, added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Swansea Council in our ongoing commitment to protecting companies against this ongoing threat from cyber criminals. Establishing Cyber Essentials as part of its procurement process, Phil Roberts  and his team are paving the way for organisations to be more cyber resilient and to guarantee they, and their supply chain are no longer at risk. But we recognise that not all businesses will achieve this, so as a minimum they will have the support and guidance of the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales.

“Now that Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Swansea Council have both introduced these measures, we hope it’s only a matter of time that others follow, and we look forward to assisting many more businesses across the area in strengthening their cyber security.”

The WCRC is a partnership between the police, private sector and academia set up to help Welsh businesses protect themselves against cybercrime. It provides micro, small and medium-sized organisations with free and affordable cyber resilience guidance designed to help protect themselves from attack. Those who sign up to its free Core Membership receive practical guidance on the cyber security basics. There is also the option to upgrade to a flexible paid-for range of options to suit the level of support required.

The centre works closely with trusted partners;  a group of certifying bodies verified by the Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises Consortium (IASME) to help firms achieve Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus Certification, which members have access to.

Visitors to the centre’s website will also be able to download its Little Book of Cyber Scams, a dedicated booklet which highlights the techniques criminals will use to try to steal from and exploit you.

To find out more information about the centre and how to get involved, go to https://www.wcrcentre.co.uk/.

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