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“Cyber Security for Your Business” workshop equips local SMEs with essential knowledge to tackle cyber security threats

The last week of January saw Gloucestershire College (GC) welcoming a group of business leaders from Gloucestershire-based SMEs for 2 days of free cyber security training at its Advanced Digital Academy (ADA).

While representing different industry sectors from ICT to education and recruitment, the participants had a similar objective in mind – to learn how to safeguard their companies from emerging online threats by becoming more cyber security savvy.

The workshop was designed specifically for business leaders without any specialist knowledge but who would like to expand their understanding of cyber security and cyber-crime, to pinpoint their companies’ current vulnerabilities and learn how to deal with them.

The workshop was delivered by the Scale Up 4 Growth Gloucestershire initiative – a partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE), Gloucestershire College, NatWest and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) that supports small and medium businesses in the county through access to development grants, training and expert guidance.

Conducted as a hybrid event, the training brought together expert speakers from the industry and academia. It combined theory and practice and offered plenty of networking opportunities with like-minded business leaders as well as cyber security experts, including Jason Kalwa from Salus Cyber and Professor Phil Legg from UWE.

The first day started with the “big picture” - introducing participants to Cheltenham’s Cyber Park development plans that aim to transform the county into a high-tech capital of the UK, followed by an overview session on the evolving landscape of the cyber-crime. The day concluded with a session on must-have policies and technologies for risk prevention.

Day two saw the participants diving deeper into the world of online fraud, business scams, cyber-crime and ethical hacking. They had a go at pentesting business websites against some common threats and hacks. They also learnt about how GC helps local businesses and individuals to bridge the tech skills gaps with its IT & cyber security courses and apprenticeships delivered out of ADA, a state-of-the art £3m training facility.  

The workshop was well received by the participants, many of whom praised the accessibility of such a complex topic and actionable take-aways to implement in their organisations. 

“Great workshop.  Very knowledgeable speakers.  Has been an eye opener and made me much more aware of our company set up from a cyber security point of view.” Shaun, Geotechnical Engineering Ltd

“Useful to learn, and reiterate some of the important facets of cyber security. Enjoyed the hands on pentest on day two. I have some good knowledge to report back to my company, and some areas we certainly need to work on.” Daniel, Listening Post Christian Counselling Service Ltd

“A great 2 days, I’ve been given a better understanding of cyber attacks.” Tracey, Protrack Solutions

“I’m not technical at all but I found the workshop really interesting as an introduction to cyber security!” Becca, Infosec People

“Excellent information, presented in an accessible way.” Andy, Barnwood Park

“A useful insight into cyber security issues to consider for our business” Hannah, North Tower Consulting

The Scale Up 4 Growth team is planning to conduct another fully-funded cyber security training workshop later in the year to allow more local businesses to benefit from this unique learning opportunity. New dates and further information are to be confirmed.

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About Scale Up for Growth Gloucestershire: The scheme supports small or medium businesses in the Gloucestershire LEP region (Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Stroud and Cotswolds) that are looking to grow. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), it offers eligible businesses access to grants, training and expert support to enable them to achieve their full potential. For more information visit

About European Regional Development Fund: Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit 


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