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Cyber security top priority for South West

Written by Professor Richard Benham, Professor of Cyber Security Management at Coventry Business School

Professor Richard Benham has been announced as the South West’s local champion 2017. Richard Benham is the World’s first formal Professor of Cyber Security Management and lectures at Coventry Business School and at the UK’s National Cyber Skills Centre where he is Professor in Residence. He is also a Visiting Professor in Policing at Staffordshire University and also in Cyber Security Management at The University of Gloucestershire.


There has been widespread interest this week in the South West of England following press articles about my nomination to the DL100 list and winning the Digital Campion award for the region. Trinity Mirror Group wrote a nice article outlining the initiatives I have started which are now attracting national and global interest from not so sleepy Cheltenham. Indeed the number of tech and cyber firms establishing themselves along the M5 from GCHQ is fast making the South West a regional centre of cyber and digital excellence.

Last week saw a meeting of the Trustees of The Cyber Trust which is a charity established to help educate and support those  who are most vulnerable in our society but still have technology. We welcomed again representatives from The Bank of England, The Institute of Directors, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local MPs , The police and local businesses. Our cyber4schools programme is now funded with every school in the county receiving A life size Cyber Citizen…great news and making things happen!

Our new partnership with Cyber Security Challenge UK , another worthy DL 100 award nominee was a huge boost also for when we go national on this initiative.

On a personal note I was delighted to speak to the FA Premier League and the top clubs at Chelsea FC around GDPR…the issue of digital data care and compliance is huge across all sectors. The challenge remains for us to make them proactive rather than reactive and I was delighted to introduce local legal and cyber firms bringing the expertise of the South West into the rest of the U.K.

Lastly as we run up to the finals of Digital Leader of the Year I have been truly humbled by the support I have received from individuals and firms in the South West. Many have expressed their thanks for highlighting this part of the U.K. and for setting up my national initiatives locally. This of course was never a difficult choice given the generosity of those who live here and the wealth of digital and cyber expertise that exists.

See Professor Benham’s Podcast on Cyber here:

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