Sheffield student ‘ethical hackers’ help small firms stay cyber safe

Computing students at Sheffield Hallam have been commissioned to support small, medium and sole trading businesses with cyber security.

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 8:04 pm

The student ‘ethical hackers’ are part of the North East Business Resilience Centre (NEBRC), a non-profit organisation which exists to help businesses be cyber safe.

Its work is delivered by an expert team of trusted professionals and police officers alongside students from Sheffield Hallam and Northumbria University.

Through the £100,000 programme, the NEBRC will support the self-employed and micro-businesses of less than 10 employees across the Leeds City Region at a time when so many businesses are facing ongoing change and distribution as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

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The pandemic period has seen a 400% increase in cyber fraud with statistics reflecting that small businesses - and particularly the self-employed sole trader or micro business - have found themselves at greatest risk and without access to cyber support and services.

Shahrzad Zargari, course leader in computer security with forensics at Sheffield Hallam, is leading the university’s involvement in the NEBRC.

She said: “This is fantastic news for our students who can now help more small businesses build their resistance to cyber-attacks as part of this pioneering project.

“It gives our students an invaluable opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to make a real positive impact on businesses which have already had such a challenging year due to the global pandemic.”

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