As the national network of Cyber Resilience Centres continues to expand, we’re bringing you a series of interviews with some of the Police Leads heading up each Centre to get their take on the challenges facing each region.
In this blog, we talk to Detective Inspector Chris White, Head of Cyber and Innovation at the South East Cyber Resilience Centre, about balancing risk and the importance of computer literacy in the fight against cybercrime:
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to the role of Police Lead at Centre?
I have been involved in various departments within the police, mainly focussing on technological roles. More recently, I held the role of a police cyber security advisor for the South East Region, helping protect organisations from being the victims of cybercrime and assisting in a response during these unfortunate times.
I have also managed a team of officers who worked with cyber offenders. We explored the thought processes of these young people, and then helped by coaching and encouraging a positive behaviour change within them to reduce offending. This has provided me with a good awareness of the causes and reasons of cybercrime.
What are some of your ambitions for the Centre?
Having seen a lot of companies suffer after a cyber attack with lifelong investments lost, I am looking forward to giving people the ability and confidence in understanding how to develop tier cyber resilience. By balancing the risk, you can create a safer business with extra resilience to withstand a cyber incident should it occur.
I will be contacting many organisations across the South East and where I can, encouraging the safe and practical usages of computer systems, developing knowledge of risk management and staff training. Utilising computer science students from local universities will enable us to provide and build stronger communities at an affordable scale.
In your opinion, what are the most important things SMEs can do in the fight against cybercrime?
We look at this issue in 3 areas – people, processes, and technology. Keep your staff informed, review your training and contingency plans, and ensure your computers are configured correctly. We have some experts here that can help you with guidance in all those areas.
What's been the biggest challenge for the Centre so far?
I often see computer systems that, with all good intentions, may not have been set up correctly, and so leak information or have gaps in their security. Even when we are sleeping, parts of the world are awake, leaving these systems exploitable by cyber criminals. Once you are connected to the internet, cybercrime is a borderless problem.
Why is the SECRC important for businesses in the region? Up until now it's difficult to understand where you can obtain cyber security support and services as the market is saturated. A public body working together with the talent of the private sector and academia seems to be the perfect match to build on and provide local trusted cyber support to businesses that really need it the most.