With a single security breach estimated to cost even small businesses upwards of £70,000, is your business resilient enough to deflect external threats? And are you confident that your internal processes can withstand accidental or deliberate security breaches from staff?

Based on a similar premise as the Scottish Business Resilience Centre and more recently The London Digital Security Centre, the HBRF aims to offer advice to organisations to enable them to build capacity and capability to enhance their cyber resilience and to become better protected against cyber risks.

The role of the forum, which is set to launch as part of Humber Business Week in June, will be to provide leadership and focus on the real areas of concern for the region with regards to business resilience and cyber security.

One of the driving forces behind the forum is Gordon Meldrum QPM, a Non-Executive Director of Agenda Screening Services, and a former Director of the UK National Crime Agency. With his background, Meldrum is keen to help organisations to see the bigger picture when it comes to business security

“Crimes against businesses are changing,” says Meldrum. “It’s no longer just about an organisation’s physical security – there are digital ‘doors’ that need to be locked and secured as a matter of course.

“This change in emphasis can be difficult for many organisations to understand and manage on their own, which is why the forum, with its website and wider business breakfast events, is essential to the region’s business.

“We want businesses in the Humber to be cyber resilient and to recognise that being safe online goes far beyond technical measures. It’s easy to understand that a business needs well-developed technical firewalls, but there also needs to be a similar mindset around ‘human firewalls’ to prevent insider threats, either malicious or accidental.

Dr Dionysios Demetis from Hull University Business School has been involved in HBRF discussions from the outset. His research into business cyber resilience and the threats from both internal and external sources will help steer the discussions and work of the group.

Dr Demetis says: “As technology changes working practices and our reliance on technological operations deepens, no organisation can afford to be casual about information security. It is impossible to ignore these issues and hope that everything will turn out fine – statistically speaking, that is a very unlikely outcome.

“Education is the key to business resilience. Our aim is to create a space in which businesses can seek and receive help and guidance to become stronger and more prepared for future attacks.”

The forum will include representatives from law enforcement including Detective Superintendent Phill Ward, Cyber lead for Humberside Police, and Detective Chief Inspector Steve Thomas, Cyber Prevent lead at The Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Organised Crime Unit.

In addition, a number of senior business figures have already been approached and signalled their desire to be involved in the HBRF.

‘Cyber crime is the single biggest threat to our business’ – Rory Clarke, Managing Director, Rix Petroleum

Rory Clarke, managing director of Rix Petroleum, believes that the forum could be a real point of differentiation for business in the Humber region.

“Cyber crime, including cyber enabled fraud, is the single biggest threat to our business today, it comes in many guises and is occurring with increasing frequency. As a consequence cyber security management is critically important to the way that we operate.

“Ultimately our cyber security protects our shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers from the significant risks of financial loss, business disruption and reputational damage which in turn ultimately protects employment, investment and business development in our region. Ignoring this threat to your business is like leaving the office with the alarm off and the keys in the front door.”

Although the forum will initially be a small working group, its focus will be on issues of concern to organisations of all sizes – from multinationals to micro-businesses – and information will be showcased through Business Breakfast events and the forum’s website.

The launch of the Humber Business Resilience Forum will take place at Hull University Business School on Wednesday 8 June, 2-4pm (TBC) as part of the 2016 Humber Business Week. To book your place visit the events page of www.hull.ac.uk/hubs or email elizabeth.johnson@hull.ac.uk.

The Humber Business Resilience Forum

To create a secure Humber region in which business and other organisations can flourish, through educating businesses to Prepare for, Protect against and Prevent an attack.


  • To make the Humber region more resilient to cyber attacks and better able to protect interests in cyberspace
  • To assist the Humber region to tackle cybercrime and be one of the most secure places in the UK to do business in cyberspace

The forum’s website is currently under design (www.hbrf.co.uk). It is set to launch in June and will contain current and accurate information on cyber threat and risk as well as links to other credible sites.

What is cyber security and cyber business resilience?

  • Cyber security is the body of processes, technologies and practices designed to protect an organisation’s networks, computers and data from attacks and unauthorised access. Being cyber secure is a key element of being cyber resilient.
  • Cyber business resilience is being able to prepare for, withstand, rapidly recover and learn from deliberate attacks or accidental events in the online world which pose a threat to your business.

This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, Humber Business Resilience Forum , its directors, members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.