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Companies will be aware from regular headlines that cyber security is a constant risk to the business community, with 40% of incidents managed by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) over the last year targeting the public sector.

Within the north-west region, there is a Cyber Resilience Centre whose purpose is to provide a free basic level of support for companies, which will provide them with the basic guidance needed to stay safe online: everything from how to manage password security, through to the questions that boards should be asking of their technical team to check on contingency plans.

Cyber resilience is important because 2 in 5 businesses each year spot an attempt to breach their systems and 1 in 3 businesses experience some form of cyber breach at least once a week.

The north-west centre is led by a serving senior police officer and is directly funded by the Home Office. Blackpool Council is a member of The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) Heads of Procurement Group* and together are encouraging businesses to sign up for North West Cyber Resilience Centre free membership and indeed to recommend those in your network do likewise.

If you're not in the north-west you can search for your regional centre.

*AGMA Heads of Procurement Group consists of ten local authorities within Greater Manchester (Bolton Council, Bury Council, Manchester City Council, Oldham Council, Rochdale MBC, Salford City Council, Stockport MBC, Tameside MBC, Trafford Council, Wigan Council), Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Police, Blackburn with Darwen BC, Blackpool Council, and Warrington BC.