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New cyber support hub for retail businesses launches as cyber-attacks on retailers increase by 30%

New cyber support hub for retail businesses launches as cyber-attacks on retailers increase by 30%

A new cyber support hub has been launched following a collaboration between our sister centre, the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands and the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira).

Bira is the leading trade association for independent retailers in the UK, whose mission is to support, protect and grow the business of British retailers.

With the retail industry making up 5.2% and being an integral part of the UK’s economy, improving the cyber resilience of retailers has never been more important.

A report published by PwC revealed that cyber-attacks on retail clients had increased by over 30%, and with the opening of retail businesses having increased by 8% in the last two years, the industry is becoming more and more appealing to cybercriminals.

There have been further reports that suggest cyber-attacks on retailers occurred roughly 1 in every 8 days in 2021.

To help retailers across the whole country to strengthen their cyber security and adopt basic practices, the newly launched cyber support hub will host a surplus of content that includes easy-to-follow and simple top tips on key topics such as two-factor authentication, the use of passwords, application and software updates.

Whilst the launch is happening as a result of the collaboration between Bira and the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands, the new support hub is available to retail businesses across the country.

The WMCRC is one of 9 cyber resilience centres that have been set up as a network to support businesses across England and Wales, giving every region its own cyber resilience centre. All members and visitors of the centres on the network are encouraged to make full use of the support hub. To find your local centre, visit www.wmcrc.co.uk/crcnetwork.

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Project Lead, Detective Inspector Michelle Ohren, Head of Cyber and Innovation at the Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands commented:

“I’m thrilled to be able to announce the launch of our new cyber support hub for Bira’s members, as I’ve seen first-hand through my policing career the devastation that cyber-attacks can cause.”

“Cyber security is not just for large companies; I can’t state that enough. We see many businesses regularly suffer cyber-attacks that can take them offline for days, weeks and sometimes permanently. It may be as simple as hackers gaining unauthorised access to your store’s social media account, and revoking your access, leaving you unable to access the account. During which time the hackers are able to post content with dangerous links.”

“This would be unknown to your customers, who would then potentially buy through your platform, with the money being deposited in fraudulent bank accounts. This leads to your customer being left with no product or service. Whilst this may seem unlikely, it’s quite the opposite, and sadly just one of theways cybercriminals can launch an attack on your business.”

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO added:

“With increased levels of on-line shopping it is vital for retailers to have good cyber security in place. Shoppers expect their details to be secure and good security will retain consumer confidence. This Hub is an excellent way of informing and helping independent retailers.”

At the EMCRC, we encourage businesses in the East Midlands to check out BIRA's Cyber Security Hub and also to take advantage of our free membership and/or the services we offer, including the vitally important Security Awareness Training which puts staff through a course focused on how they can potentially recognise threats and therefore prevent a cyber incident.

View more from The Cyber Resilience Centre here: 


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