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We are pleased to announce that Castell Howell, a foodservice wholesaler based in Carmarthenshire, is the first organisation to benefit from an Intellectual Property (IP) Wales cybersecurity reimbursement grant.

The grants were launched by IP Wales, a constituent member of the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law at the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law as part of a new online initiative, aiming to help businesses protect their intellectual property online.

Research from the United States shows that 1-3% GDP is lost each year to trade secret theft with around 18% of attacks being targeted against SMEs, equating to a staggering £3.5-£10.5billion lost to the UK economy and misappropriated from SMEs each year. This is why increased cybersecurity protection is paramount in any organisation regardless of size.

Castell Howell was the only firm the IP Wales project had previously helped in an earlier phase to already hold Cyber Essentials, the UK government minimum standard which helps companies guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity. This gave them a head start to progressing directly to the externally validated Cyber Essentials Plus, in this case supported by local cybersecurity company Morgan and Morgan, based in Carmarthenshire.

Paul Rankin, Head of IT at Castell Howell, said:

“Having read the IP Wales SME Guide to Cybersecurity, we decided to increase our protection to Cyber Essentials Plus to reduce the risk of being infiltrated or having data breaches in line with GDPR. With an ever-increasing rise in cybercrime it makes sense to do as much as we can to prevent attacks on our company.

I can honestly say that I feel much more confident in our security now and would highly recommend others to carry out this process. Thanks again for considering us for the funding, much appreciated.”

Morgan & Morgan’s Co-Founder and Managing Director Michael Morgan said:

“Having partnered with Castell Howell for many years, it has been a pleasure working with them to achieve Cyber Essential’s Plus Certification. Few organisations understand the importance of security for their systems and data they hold, however the Management and IT Team at Castell Howell clearly do. Adopting and formalising the principles of Cyber Essentials and moving onto Cyber Essentials Plus was an obvious next step for them. Castell Howell are among a growing number of organisations who recognise the commercial advantages of certification.”

IP Wales grants are now available to any Welsh SME which attends training on the new EU Trade Secrets Directive.

The first such recognised training event, The New Trade Secrets Directive: protecting your business’ valuable information, is being offered by Capital Law Solicitors at their offices in Cardiff on 27th June 2018 and Welsh SME attendees will be eligible to apply for staged funding up to £2K maximum in reimbursement of increasing their IP cybersecurity protection on a first come, first served basis. More information is available here.

Andrew Beale OBE, Director of IP Wales, said:

“Data is the fuel which drives our Information Age and SMEs need to recognise that in addition to the personal data held on customers their own trade secrets data is both valuable and vulnerable to online attack. Increasing cybersecurity protection is the only viable proactive solution to risk managing this real and present danger. We are delighted that our awarding winning business support project IP Wales can offer some assistance towards the associated costs.”