Mark Moore, Detective Superintendent from Devon and Cornwall Police is the newly appointed Director of the South West Cyber Resilience Centre. We were able to spend some time with him to discuss his first few weeks and how his policing experience can help the centre develop and succeed.
How will your police experience help you as the new Director of the SWCRC?
I’ve dealt with enough victims over the years to understand what a genuine impact crime can have on individuals and businesses. Even where the loss seems manageable, the impact on an individual level can be felt in lots of other ways. As a police officer, it’s good to have not just that understanding, but also the links back into an organisation that will work to ensure that we minimise the impact of a recurrence.
What will you be doing in your new role and what are the priorities?
The priorities for me are twofold. First, I want to get some significant partners on board, so that our company is not just a policing endeavour, but a genuine partnership which hears and responds to the needs of the business community and third sector. And the second priority is to get the world and his dog (or cat, if that’s your preference) to register for our free core memberships. There’s no point our being here if we’re talking into a void, and I want to make sure that we protect as many people as we can. Cybercrime prevention needn’t be that scary or specialist: asking obvious questions, and taking simple steps, can go a very long way.
Why do you think the SWCRC is so important for businesses in the region?
Businesses have so much to deal with right now. But we know that simple email or web attacks can pose an existential threat to companies already struggling massively with the impact of Covid. If we can remove one risk for them, and help ensure their survival, it’s a huge benefit to all of us who live and work here. I know that cyber stuff can be regarded as intimidating and technical, and I want our centre to help make it easily-navigable. Because we’re not for profit and have clear policing links, you ought to be able to trust us. Our offer has to be that we can add value without adding cost, and where you need detailed or bespoke advice, we can help you to access it inexpensively and from sources that you know you can trust.
What are you looking forward to most in your new role?
Celebrating the arrival of our 10,000th member… it might be a way off but I’ve never been one to set my sights low! Seriously, the thing that brought me to policing was a desire to help people, and that’s still true 25 years down the line. If we can stop businesses from becoming victims, and keep our communities vibrant and safe, then I’ll have the satisfaction of a job well done: and I know that everyone who uses our services will be better protected for having done so.
Why should businesses join the SWCRC?
I wonder if the question actually is, why shouldn’t they? We all want to make sure we don’t lose money. So although it takes a bit of time or effort to fit a lock to the door of our premises, we get it done. We train our staff, we risk assess our buildings, we get references for our employees… and all because we know that it makes us safer and reduces risk. Cyber risk really isn’t any different, except that it often feels technical and complicated, and so it gets left as something which only happens to other people. The reality is, almost half of businesses are reporting attacks or breaches in the last twelve months, so the comparison with leaving your door unlocked seems like a pretty fair one. If we can provide you with cyber advice for free, it feels like a bit of a no-brainer to me.
Anything else you would like to add?
I think I really want to add that it’s a real privilege to be heading up the new cyber resilience centre. It’s really important to me that it should understand and respond to the needs of businesses and the third sector. So I welcome everyone who wants to join us, and help us on that journey: we aren’t profit-making, and we are only here to serve you.
The world is a strange and difficult place at the moment for many of us, and I absolutely get that cybercrime feels low down the agenda. If you could cope with all of your computers not coming on next Monday, and your data being stolen and shared, it’s probably ok for it to stay at the bottom of the agenda. If not – and I’m guessing not – then this feels like absolutely the right time to do some simple things and to minimise a risk that you don’t really need, or want. So I hope that I get to print off that 10,000th membership certificate as soon as possible.