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How can Businesses Improve their Cyber Security in 2021?

By The North West Cyber Resilience Centre

With 2020 now behind us, just what do the next twelve months have in store for businesses in Greater Manchester? How can business owners, directors and employees continue to improve their security in 2021? What can we do to prepare us for life post lockdown in 2021? 

We put these questions to our friends and colleagues across Greater Manchester.

What is the one thing businesses should do to improve their cybersecurity in 2021? 

Cyber Essentials  

Cyber Essentials and cyber awareness for staff!

Marketing Manager at Linten Technologies, Stephanie Lynch-Ozanar

There is no one size fits all safety blanket 

There is no one size fits all safety blanket when mitigating the cyber threat, but the first step businesses should do to improve their cybersecurity is to appoint someone to be responsible for cybersecurity who is supported by the board/business owners.

Chief Information Security Officer of Irwin Mitchell, Graham Thomson - Founding Partner of CRCGM

Businesses need to Educate themselves more 

There is still a lot of companies that view cybersecurity as an added cost and this needs to change. As a breach could not only cause large fines, reputational damage, and the risk of their business closing as they may not be able to recover from the breach. Businesses need to be aware of cybersecurity and understand the right processes they need to have in place for their organisation, and this starts with education.

Cyber Security Consultant at Cyfor, Raj Kundalia

First Line of Defence

At The Co-operative Bank, we think it’s important that businesses support their employees in understanding more about cybersecurity as colleagues are a critical line of defence in protecting any organisation. Given this, we have created a number of educational resources for businesses to help improve user awareness.

Chief Information Security Officer - The Co-operative Bank, Chris Gray

Cyber Essentials  

Get certified to Cyber Essentials, it really can expose your weaknesses before the cybercriminals find them.

Director of Jovasi Technology, Huw Vaughan Jones - Trusted Supplier of CRCGM

What is the one thing employees should do to improve their knowledge of cyber resilience in 2021? 

Have I Been Pwned

Everyone should go to the free online service Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) and check your email addresses there - it will give you an idea of what is leaked/traded on the Internet amongst hackers and cybercriminals.

Group Information Security Officer of Barbican Insurance Group, James McKinlay

Read the News

Keep up to date on the high profile cyber-attacks reported on mainstream news and understand how they can help protect their organisation – employees are often the first line of defence against cyber threats.

Chief Information Security Officer - The Co-operative Bank, Chris Gray

NCSC Training

Look at the NCSC free cyber training - It's very good.

Head of Customer Security at TalkTalk, Mark Johnson - Cyber Expert Group Member


Learn the basics about phishing and the use of secure passwords.

Director of Jovasi Technology, Huw Vaughan Jones 

Increased awareness of the basics

Increased awareness of basic security threats, in particular phishing training and regular simulations with reinforced training for staff who click on links.

Cyber Security Compliance Consultant of CyberSecuritiesUK, Rory Breen

What do you think the biggest lesson we have all learnt in 2020, which will prepare us for life post lockdown in 2021? 

Appreciate the Good Things I think the biggest lesson we have all learnt in 2020 is that we can be just as happy and satisfied with a simpler, less chaotic lifestyle and that we should appreciate the good things a lot more. We can all be productive working at home more, which reduces the pressure on daily commuting habits.

Chief Information Security Officer of Irwin Mitchell, Graham Thomson

Ransomware Attributed to Patient Deaths As this year we saw Ransomware in hospitals attributed to patient deaths the consequences of getting involved with this type of malware has moved to the next level, anyone thinking that ransomware deploying gangs would leave hospitals and charities alone is very mistaken, Ransomware is extortion, itis not going away, indeed it is a growth area for cybercrime.

Group Information Security Officer of Barbican Insurance Group, James McKinlay

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