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A new transformation initiative aims to make Salford one of the most cyber-activated sites in the UK.
The unique innovation plan, developed by IN4 Group, operator of HOST, will connect cyber innovation, cyber skills, cyber careers and cyberstart-ups and deliver the most comprehensive and inclusive location-based adoption of innovation.
The ambition of Cyber Salford, launched at HOST, Home of Skills & Technology, in collaboration with Salford City Council, Cyber Resilience Center and partners Raytheon Technologies, is to connect everyone from the Salford community, including local citizens, young people, start – ups, SMEs and the self-employed, with access to education, training, tools and incubators to increase cybersecurity awareness, innovation and careers in the region.
By April 2022, Cyber Salford aims to support at least 100 Salford SMEs, 200 Salford self-employed freelancers, educate more than 200 Salford citizens, inspire 500 Salford schoolchildren, create 50 cyber jobs and incubate 10 Salford start-ups.
There is an additional incentive for cash grants administered by the Salford City Council, where 100 Salford SMEs will receive £ 2,500 and 200 Salford freelancers given £ 1,000 each to increase their security after completing the training programs.
Greater Manchester has signaled its ambition to be the UK’s security capital and a global leader in the cyber sector, supported by the GCHQ and National Cyber Security Centers (NCSC) relocations to the region. The Cyber Salford initiative will be made available to all 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester, illustrating how ambitions can be executed for tangible economic consequences and social value results.
The last 12 months alone have accelerated digital transformation to an extent never seen before, but this has also led to a dramatic increase in cybercrime, which rose by 31% during the pandemic and cost British companies more than £ 6.2 million.
In addition, covid has slung all companies into tech and digital companies. Cyber is an enabler for digitization and innovation – however, a lack of skills and support is a barrier to adoption and business growth – something Cyber Salford will directly address as part of the covid recovery for business.
HOST has already established one of Greater Manchester’s most innovative security operations centers (HOST Cyber), in partnership with partners Microsoft and Siemens, with links to HOST’s Data Science Innovation Program and GCHQ’s Co-Lab, which it designs and delivers. Cyber career starts are achieved through their bootcamps in Skills City with partner Raytheon.
The training programs provided through HOST Cyber will include cyber awareness training for parents and local citizens, which will offer equipment and online security advice along with career training.
In line with HOST’s commitment to breaking down the barriers that currently affect diversity and inclusion, it will also work with all Salford schools and colleges to inspire young people aged 11-18. It will run the National Cyber Security’s CyberFirst program every Saturday, especially for girls, arousing their interest in STEM and technological careers.
While Cyber Bootcamp in Skills City, in partnership with Raytheon Technologies, is a 12-week training program for adult students to qualify in cybersecurity, experience real-world projects with an employer, and quickly enter a digital technology career. Currently, 90 students are being trained and funded by the Ministry of Education.
In addition, HOST’s Data Science Innovation Program works with project teams, SMEs, entrepreneurs and start-ups to provide the support they need to bring their cyber innovations to the real world, commercialize their products and tools and accelerate their growth. as a viable business.
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, operator of HOST, said: “While cyber security risks and many recent high-profile cyber attacks require individuals and organizations to reconsider their approaches to security and their digital infrastructure, skills gaps and lack of support continue to affect a large part of people.
“This unique and scalable plan we have created for Salford, driven by skills, innovation and start-ups, makes cyber technology comprehensively accessible across an entire societal level.
“We are pleased to give Salford the opportunity to offer all residents, businesses and organizations the opportunity to be cyber security enabled, educated and prepared, establishing Salford as the most cyber enabled site in the UK.”
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “It takes years to build a reputation and a few minutes of cyber incident to destroy it – the spillover effect of a data breach can be devastating to an organization.
“Cyber Salford will bring the best in the class of public and private sector knowledge to help businesses, residents, retailers and students from across the city of Salford become more aware and secure. This will mean more trust and confidence in an increasingly digital world. ”