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East Midlands Chamber News

Cyber Week: SMEs can learn about practical online security steps at East Midlands Chamber event – as pandemic creates surge in cyber-crime

Identifying the practical steps that businesses should take to protect themselves against cyber-crime is the aim of an upcoming week-long East Midlands Chamber conference.

Lockdown Your Data: East Midlands Cyber Security Week, held in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU), will bring together businesses, digital specialists and policymakers to provide insights and tools on an issue that has become more prominent during Covid-19.

Taking place from Monday 1 March to Friday 5 March, it will involve industry leaders and experts delivering webinars each day – giving delegates the opportunity to understand the challenges faced from cyber-crime, how to establish a holistic, risk-based approach to cyber security, and how to devise and implement continuity and recovery plans.

The National Cyber Security Centre warned that phishing scams rose by more than 600% in the early stages of the pandemic, while one in three attacks it responded to in 2020 were coronavirus-related.

Diane Beresford, East Midlands Chamber’s deputy chief executive and digital lead, said: “The pandemic has caused the world to adapt.

“As technology is incorporated into more aspects of our daily lives, remote working has become the norm. This has meant cyber-crimes and cyber security have evolved and diversified, bringing new challenges.

“This changing landscape has increased the need to develop innovative managerial, technological, and strategic solutions to allow the business world to keep moving.

“Our week-long event has been designed to inform and support businesses looking to understand the strategic decisions needed to ensure digital resilience.”

Cyber Week themes and speakers

The Cyber Week event will explore a range of themes, including online security, digital identity, homeworking solutions, process automation, data redundancy, scalability, best practice, emerging technologies, threat detection and landscapes, malware and the human factor, and risk reduction.

Delegates will be able learn about the latest cyber threats and trends, emerging methods of protection, and new products.

Real-life case studies will be used to illustrate successful cyber security plans, while there will also be an opportunity to network and forge new partnerships.

Presenters include C-level speakers from businesses at the forefront of IT and cyber security, such as East Midlands Chamber strategic partner Air IT, and patrons Highlander and RDS Global.

There will also be presentations and workshops hosted by headline partner DMU, including a full-day series of sessions alongside multinational aerospace manufacturer Airbus on Wednesday 3 March, covering topics such as how artificial intelligence and machine learning into cyber security.

Dr Allan Cooke, of DMU’s Cyber Technology Institute – the only facility in the East Midlands to be recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – will also talk about how organisations can prepare and rehearse for a cyber-attack before it happens.

David Mba, pro vice-chancellor for research and enterprise at the university, said: “With more and more people working remotely, on a variety of devices, staying safe online and protecting data has arguably never been more important.

“Businesses will need to lean on technology more than ever and a focus on cyber security will be the difference between those who succeed in the ‘new normal’ and those who do not.

“As one of the country’s leading centres for cyber security, DMU is delighted to be teaming up with East Midlands Chamber to ensure businesses get the advice and support they need to protect them against cyber-crime, and to ensure that training is available for staff at all levels.”

To register for the free Cyber Week event, visit bit.ly/EMCyberWeek. For information on getting involved with Cyber Week and potentially exhibit, contact Kate Nemeth on 0333 320 0333 or kate.nemeth@emc-dnl.co.uk.

Cyber Week schedule


9-10: The risk of emerging technologies – Sheila Pancholi, RSM

11-12: From digital footprint to cyber fortress – Neil Sinclair, Police Digital Security Centre

3-4: Regaining control of your organisation’s data – Chris Muscroft and Bryn Hawkins, Highlander


9-10: Protecting your business and users in a remote world – Lee Johnson, Air IT

11-12: Financial cyber-crime and fraud – Amber Launder, NatWest

3-4: Website protection – Kazzoo IT Solutions


9-4: AI and machine learning in cyber security – Airbus and DMU

11-12: How will Brexit affect the UK's position on data protection? – Simon Newman, Police Digital Security Centre

2-4: How to make payments online – Rob Gregory, Magnifica Technologies


9-10: East Midlands Chamber digital funding and support – Marcus Harrison

10.30-11.30: Practice makes perfect: Preparing and rehearsing for a cyber incident before it happens – Dr Allan Cooke, DMU Cyber Technology Institute

11-12: How business continuity and disaster recovery plans can save your business in the event of a cyber-attack – Martin Roberts and Toby Stephenson, Neuways

2-3: The cyber skills gap in your business and how to fill it – Althaus Digital

3-4: Big data and cyber security: Your competitive advantage – Andy Flinn and Nigel Humphreys, RDS Global


9-10: Covid, process automation, data redundancy and your future – Steve Megson, Quiet Storm

11-12.30: Introducing: The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East Midlands

2-3: Cyber security in an immersive world – Craig Brothers, Affari Media