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A Tale of Cyber Warriors and Rabbits Feet

Once upon a time, it was all a bit dark.

If you were a small business or charity, you could barely find your way through the half-lit thickets of cyber jargon. Which was fine, because frankly you had enough other things on your plate anyway, and cyber was not just confusing, it was expensive. And “not losing money” was one of your main concerns, next to “not wasting time”.

So it was that small organisations the length and breadth of South West England went about their business, relying mostly on rabbits feet, vegan alternatives, or simply Crossed Fingers, to ward off the ever-present threat of cyber criminality.

Meanwhile, in the distant fiefdoms of Scotland, the North East, and the North West, they’d been doing things a little differently. Bands of helpers had appeared, setting up police-led teams which sought to cut back the thickets of cyber jargon, and fighting back against the inevitability of phishing scams and credential theft. They even loaned out small armies of cyber students, able to train people in the arts of resistance, or bolster their digital defences. And the renown of these teams spread across the kingdom, even to the hallowed portals of White Hall, where the Home Office decided to fund a national rollout.

And so it was that, three years ago, as the moon waxed and the nightingales warbled, the South West Cyber Resilience Centre came into being, in a small copse just north of Dorset police headquarters. Led by serving officers and staff, it quickly formed alliances, firstly with renowned heroes from the region’s private sector, like Leonardo Cyber and Security, and Bamboo technology group; and then with regional business groups, like the Federatione of Smalle Businesses, ye South Weste Businesse Councile, and Buinesse Weste.

And slowly, the peoples of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall began to see the light; and the masses of Dorset, Gloucestershire and Bristol did too. Even in Somerset, with its many-counties-in-one, they heard tell of the work being done by the small band of cyber warriors. And one by one, charities and businesses who had previously had no protection against cyber attack, cast aside their rabbits feet and vegan alternatives, uncrossed their fingers, and joined up with the South West Cyber Resilience Centre community instead. It cost them nothing, and took limited time, because the team had refined an approach which introduced their members to basic protections in ten minutes a week, and sent them monthly bulletins which were readable, and showed them all the parts of their IT systems where There Be Dragons.

And for many, that was the end of the story. They were safer; without being poorer; the uplands were better lit, and now they had only (!) the mythical beasts of Kostoff-Living and Brexxxxit to battle. It wasn’t quite a happy ending, but more to the point, it wasn’t an ending at all. Because, you see, the scorched earth of cybercrime didn’t happen to them quite as much, and they were able to keep going, in a world where other small businesses and charities remained unprotected. And if that sounds like at least a step towards ‘happily ever after’, do feel free to take it.

Find out more about joining our merry band at Or if you’re still suspicious, search ‘rabbit foot and vegan alternatives’ instead. One in three businesses are attacked by cyber crime every year, but that probably means that you’re ok for another 24 moons.


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