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    New cyber security centre launched to support London’s small businesses

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    Businesses in London have been urged to join a new scheme which was launched on Tuesday to protect them from the growing threat of cybercrime.

    Facilitated by funding from mayor Sadiq Khan, the new Cyber Resilience Centre (CRC) features industry experts who will work with the city’s three police forces — Met Police, City of London Police, and British Transport Police — to enable it to support London’s small and medium businesses and help them prepare against cyberattacks and extend support when they have been targeted, the mayor’s office said.

    Figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have shown that more than £1.8 billion were lost to fraud and cybercrime in the capital over the last year with 35 per cent of small and micro businesses facing at least one attack or breach, which is equal to around 250,000 businesses.

    With London businesses increasingly targeted by phishing, hacking and ransomware attacks, industry leaders have warned that every organisation and business is a potential target for cyber criminals, with small and medium businesses are often hit harder by a loss of funds.

    Over the three years, the centre aims to support around 20,000 businesses in the city that are most vulnerable to attacks, and providing small business owners with practical online safety advice, and face-to-face visits.

    The mayor is also investing £200,000 to support the centre’s community outreach programme, which includes development of self-help toolkits for businesses and ‘How-To’ video guides on improving their resilience against cyberattacks.

    The CRCs receive an annual grant from the Home Office to carry out their safety missions against cyber crime.

    The businesses will be able to sign up for a free London CRC membership online and get instant access to safety advice; monthly cyber threat reports from the National Cyber Security Centre; latest guidance from the Met Police and City of London Police’s dedicated teams and a monthly newsletter with hints and tips on improving cyber resilience.

    They can also contact the cyber resilience team with urgent questions and receive training for their staff members.

    London’s deputy mayor for policing and crime Sophie Linden launched the new CRC at an event at City Hall which was attended by business owners.

    “Far too many small businesses in the capital are impacted by cybercrime, with billions of pounds lost and thousands of lives impacted each year,” she said.

    “Our new Cyber Resilience Centre will help businesses stay safe online and protect them from cyber criminals. This is all part of our work to build a safer, more prosperous city for everyone and I urge all businesses in London to sign-up and use the centre’s services.”

    Simon Newman, chief executive of the CRC for London, added: “I’m delighted to be bringing the launch of the Cyber Resilience Centre for London to City Hall. We’ve been generously supported by the mayor’s office for policing and crime, and it’s fantastic to be able to celebrate our shared vision together.

    “I’m really ambitious about the future of the CRC for London. I want to see it grow as a partnership between policing, industry and academia; for us to be seen as a trusted, reliable partner to the Capital’s SME community; and for our Cyber PATH programme to produce consistently high-quality talent. In 10 years’ time, I want to look back and be able to say that we have helped make London the safest city in the world to do business online.”

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