City Hall hosts cyber security masterclasses

26 May 2015

The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime and Federation of Small Businesses are running a series of free masterclasses to help the capital’s small and medium sized businesses buff up on cyber security.

The sessions are part of the Mayor’s Business Strategy, central to which is setting up an independent London Digital Security Centre which is due to launch later this year.

Around 60 per cent of small businesses have limited or zero awareness of current scams or vulnerabilities affecting London, according to recent research from the FSB.

The first event, on Tuesday 26th May at City Hall, will include advice on law enforcement and mobile security, and an introduction to the London Digital Security Centre concept.

It will also invite former hackers to attempt to breach the security of willing business participants.

These so called ‘ethical hackers’ are ‘poachers turned gamekeepers’ and can demonstrate how imperative it is for London’s businesses to make their web space safe and secure.

Stephen Greenhalgh, the Deputy Mayor for Policing And Crime, who will welcome participants on the night, said: “The cyber and digital security of London’s businesses, especially smaller enterprises and entrepreneurial start-ups, is something we take extremely seriously. We want every London business to be able to afford the necessary protection and security from these often invisible but potentially devastating threats. That is why we’re developing the new London Digital Security Centre, which will provide a one stop shop to help small and medium sized businesses get online savvy, build up their resilience, and protect themselves from these sorts of crimes.”

Nine in ten (88 per cent) FSB members in the capital believe that small businesses should be offered free or low cost external test services to see how easy it is for hackers to access their information - which could save the insurance industry millions in fraud and online crime.

Commenting on the findings, Steve Warwick, FSB London Regional Chair, said: “Many small businesses are recognising the advantages of cloud computing services, but there remains a great deal of concern that sensitive data may not be secure or the service not reliable. Businesses don’t want to transition to cloud based systems without knowing who will be liable if something goes wrong. These Masterclasses will enable small businesses in London to be more digitally secure and also save their business time and money to get on with running the business without fearing a cyber threat.”

Notes to editors

• The first of six masterclasses will take place in the Chamber at City Hall, The Queens Walk, (Near London Bridge), SE1 2AA on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 from 18:00 to 21:00. Details on future cyber security events for businesses will be made available at:

• The London Digital Security Centre (LDSC) will provide one unique and shared resource offering business education, security and business resilience skills to help businesses better protect themselves from threats, both online and in the physical environment. It will offer simple, accessible and jargon free information to all sizes of business. The model for the LDSC has been built around the very successful Scottish Business Resilience Centre and the Director of SBRC, Mandy Haeburn-Little, is assisting London to establish a similar model for London.

For more information please visit: • The FSB is the UK's leading business organisation with around 200,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK’s Real-Life Entrepreneurs who run their own business. More information is available at and follow on twitter @fsb_policy • The survey of 50 London businesses took place between February and March 2015. More than half (55%) of FSB members in London are using the Cloud. When asked whether small businesses felt confident using social media channels such as Twitter, facebook and Linkedin from a privacy perspective – 52% answered either ‘unsure’ or ‘not at all’.