University offers free support to mitigate risks of adopting new technologies

By Tim Aldred

19 Feb 2024

Aerial photo of Lancaster University Campus

Lancaster University has launched a free programme of cyber awareness and support to help the county's businesses mitigate threats and risks while adopting digital technology. 

The Cyber Foundry programme is fully funded by the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology with the aim of reducing cyber threats and risks within businesses which are using or plan to adopt digital technologies.

The aim is to encourage businesses to embrace innovations in digital and cyber technologies which can improve products and processes and help them to embed these into strategies that allow companies to differentiate and diversify in their market sectors, leading to significant growth.

Viscount Camrose, minister for AI and intellectual property, said: "Our increasingly connected world has transformed how people live and work across the globe. Around one in three firms in the UK suffered some form of cyber-attack in the last year, so the growing cyber risk means we need to continue taking firm action to protect ourselves online. 

"This is why the government is stepping in with initiatives such as this, injecting more than £300,000 in funding to ensure businesses in Lancashire and Cumbria have the support they need to tackle the risks which go hand-in-hand with digital technology.

“We are also forging ahead with plans to equip our workforce and the next generation with the tools they need to tackle cyber threats, through projects such as our Upskill in Cyber and Cyber Explorers programmes.”

The programme will engage with businesses through training workshops, masterclasses and bespoke student projects. There is also the opportunity for organisations to benefit from studentships and support through the Cyber Foundry technical team on new innovative products and services.

Prof Sarah Kemp, pro-vice-chancellor for engagement at Lancaster University, said: “We really welcome this investment from DSIT and encourage as many businesses as possible to take advantage of this opportunity. Developing cyber awareness and competence is essential to ensuring the security, resilience and prosperity of any business but also often acts as catalyst for innovation and productivity enhancements.”

The programme is being offered through Cyber Works which offers a range of innovative opportunities for knowledge exchange between businesses and the Cyber Security Research Centre (CSRC) based within the School of Computing and Communication at Lancaster University. The CSRC holds national and international acclaim and is recognised by the Government's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as an Accredited Centre for Excellence.

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