New regional cyber security forum appoints board

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New cyber security group, the Humber Business Resilience Forum (HBRF), has appointed several leading business figures to its board, in advance of the first meeting next month.
Dr Dionysios Demetis

New cyber security group, the Humber Business Resilience Forum (HBRF), has appointed several leading business figures to its board, in advance of the first meeting next month.

The HBRF, which will officially launch as part of Humber Business Week in June, aims to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for businesses to access guidance on cyber security issues. Through its website and open business seminars, it will offer members the most up-to-date knowledge and expertise to protect themselves from security threats.

Senior executives from major businesses across the Humber have been appointed to join representatives from the police and academics to shape the forum’s board. The board will act as a senior think tank exploring the issues of concern to organisations of all sizes – from multinationals to micro-businesses.

Gordon Meldrum QPM, a Non-Executive Director of Hull-based Agenda Screening Services, and a former Director of the UK National Crime Agency, is a driving force behind the HBRF and has been appointed Chair of the forum’s board.

Meldrum said:

Crimes against businesses are changing. It’s no longer just about an organisation’s physical security – there are digital ‘doors’ that need to be locked and secured as a matter of course.

This change in emphasis can be difficult for many organisations to understand and manage on their own, which is why the forum is essential to the region’s business.

We want the Humber to be known as a region which is cyber resilient and one of the safest places to do business in the UK.

Dr Dionysios Demetis from Hull University Business School has been involved in HBRF from the outset. His research into business cyber resilience and the threats from both internal and external sources will help steer the discussions and work of the group.

Dr Demetis said:

As technology changes working practices and our reliance on technological operations deepens, no organisation can afford to be casual about information security. It is impossible to ignore these issues and hope that everything will turn out fine –statistically speaking, that is a very unlikely outcome.

Education is the key to business resilience. Our aim is to create a space in which businesses can seek and receive help and guidance to become stronger and more prepared for future attacks.

Business representation is key to ensuring that the information provided is appropriate to the needs of the region. Rory Clarke, Managing Director, Rix Petroleum, was one of the first business leaders to be approached to join the board. He believes that the forum could be a real point of differentiation for business in the Humber region.

Cyber crime, including cyber enabled fraud, is the single biggest threat to our business today. It comes in many guises and is occurring with increasing frequency. As a consequence cyber security management is critically important to the way that we operate.

Ultimately our cyber security protects our shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers from the significant risks of financial loss, business disruption and reputational damage which in turn ultimately protects employment, investment and business development in our region. Ignoring this threat to your business is like leaving the office with the alarm off and the keys in the front door.

The launch of the Humber Business Resilience Forum will take place at Hull University Business School on Wednesday 8 June, 4-6pm as part of the 2016 Humber Business Week. To book your place visit the events page of www.hull.ac.uk/hubs or email p.seymour@hull.ac.uk.