South Staffs aims to boost parish and business cyber awareness

Published on 27/09/22

South Staffordshire District Council was an early local authority adopter of the AppGuard technology through iESE and its partnership with Assurity Systems Limited (ASL). It now has plans to raise awareness of the solution and cyber risks generally among its parish councils and local businesses.

South Staffordshire plans to invite local businesses signed up to its South Staffordshire Business Place Partnership to a cyber awareness meeting later this year and will also be hosting its annual Parish Forum in October for its 27 local parishes where the focus will be on cyber risk. Both events, which will be attended by expert speakers from iESE, will aim to highlight cyber security risks and raise awareness of AppGuard.

The South Staffordshire Business Place Partnership, which officially launched in June 2021, grew out of closer working relationships developed with businesses during the pandemic. It aims to deliver on a number of pledges, including sharing best-practice and knowledge. “While businesses take responsibility for their own activities and we can’t be involved with every decision they take and what they do or don’t decide to invest in to protect themselves, we try to share best practice and knowledge. We have looked at cyber security as a council and are now looking at ensuring that our businesses through our Business Place Partnership are aware of cyber issues and have it in their psyche in terms of their forward planning, particularly as many of our businesses are looking at more online activity,” explained Annette Roberts, Corporate Director Infrastructure & Business Growth at South Staffordshire Council.

“In our local business profile, we have some multinationals that call our district home, and they are going to be aware of cyber concerns. Equally we have small businesses for which cyber won’t necessarily be front and centre so we just want to make them aware of some of the challenges that they might be facing in the future,” she added.

Peter Shakespear, Corporate Director Finance & Resources at South Staffordshire Council, added that both events would be used to give information, advice and guidance. “It is about raising cyber security awareness in general, which is a massive concern, and which is only going to grow in its importance and linked to that is AppGuard. Small businesses and parishes are not as likely to be aware of the products out there, so it is about showcasing what we have done and explaining that AppGuard isn’t just for local authority or big business.

“Our council plan and our direction of travel sets out that we want prosperous and vibrant communities, and our business community is key in delivering that. While our businesses and local parishes may not be the same size as South Staffordshire District Council, they will be storing personal and sensitive data. Raising awareness of cyber threats will help protect both them and the wider community.”

If you are interested in a cyber security pilot for your local authority, please contact us directly at enquiries@ccoe.wpenginepowered.com

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