Smart Places Working Group, Data and Cyber Security

19 January 2022

The West Midlands region was proud to host the launch of the National Cyber Strategy 2022 at Birmingham’s ICC in December 2021.

Our January 2022 Smart Places Working Group meeting will consider Cyber from local, regional, national, and global perspectives. The event will include panel discussion, Q&A, and a presentation.

Chaired by Sarah Windrum (Chair of Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP)

We will be joined by:

• Andrew Clarke MSc FCMI, CSO of Assured Cyber Protection

• Chris Woods, Founder and CEO of CyberQ Group

• Daljinder Mattu, Senior Cyber Policy Advisor at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

• Hugo Russell, Digital Projects Manager and Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security

• Prashant Pillai, Director of University of Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute

• Richard Fallon, CMO of Cyber Risk Score

The panellists will respond to the 5 Pillars of the National Cyber Strategy 2022, which was launched in Birmingham in December 2021.

The 5 Pillars are:

  • UK Cyber Ecosystem
  • Cyber Resilience
  • Technology Advantage
  • Global Leadership
  • Countering Threats

We will then learn about a proposed regional response to the National Strategy.

During the final segment of the event, we will brainstorm about and help shape the Midlands’ response to the National Cyber Strategy 2022. This will be your chance to help shape the region’s response to the strategy, which will ultimately be fed into Government via specific routes we will discuss during the event. (Specific questions for discussion will be provided, so there is no need to have in-depth prior knowledge of the National Cyber Strategy 2022.)

Due to potential Covid-restrictions, this event will now be fully online. Zoom details will be shared with registered attendees a few days before the event.

If you have any questions, please contact Devon Geary at

Sarah Windrum

Chair of Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP)

Dr Julie Nugent has extensive experience in the productivity and skills sector having held a range of senior roles across government and the further education sector. She has particular expertise in financing further education and has led on developing new funding systems for the Skills Funding Agency and the Learning and Skills Council. Julie has worked in the Black Country and in Birmingham which has provided her with a keen understanding of the importance of skills in improving economic competitiveness and people’s life chances.

Andrew Clarke

Chief Strategy Officer at Assured Cyber Protection 

Andrew Clarke is an internationally established strategic advisor and defence and security specialist with 20+ years’ experience leading operational delivery teams in both private and public sectors. 

Before co-founding ACP, and following a significant career leading specialist military capability, he advised governments on defence and security, resilience, emergency measures and preparedness. Andrew has a comprehensive understanding of ACP and now leads our strategic partnership initiatives and development of new markets globally. 

Chris Woods

Founder and CEO at CyberQ Group

An experienced leader within the cyber security realm, Chris Woods is the founder of CyberQ Group – an award winning global cyber security innovator with offices in the UK, USA and Philippines. Having previously managed elite security teams at the European Space Agency, HP and Fujitsu, Chris has over 25 years of pure Cyber Security experience, working and living globally. His focus areas are Cyber Innovation, smart cities and protection of individuals’ privacy in an interconnected world. Chris is now leading a passionate team of cyber and business professionals, developing the next generation of security services using AI, Blockchain and Big Data analytics.

Daljinder Mattu

Senior Policy Lead for Cyber Security in the Midlands at DCMS 

Daljinder Mattu joined the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in June 2021 as a Senior Policy Lead for cyber security in the Midlands.  She is based in the region to drive growth and innovation in the UK cyber security sector by building and expanding regional reach and impact. Daljinder led on supporting the launch of the new 2022 National Cyber Strategy in Birmingham. 

Prior to this, Daljinder worked in the Cabinet Office as Government Security Profession Head of Communications and previous to this as Head of Stakeholder Engagement & Communications for the 2016-2021 National Cyber Security Strategy. 

Pete Rucinski

Managing Director at Assure Technical, Active Company Member of Midlands Cyber 

Pete is an NCSC Certified Cyber Professional, Chartered Engineer and IT professional who began his career as a Royal Navy Weapon Engineer Officer.    

Pete founded Assure Technical to provide technical security expertise and solutions to companies operating in the commercial sector. Ten years on, it is now a leading Cyber Security Certification Body and has helped hundreds of companies of varying sizes strengthen their defences against the ever-present cyber threats.    

As well as overseeing the day-to-day running of Assure Technical, Pete is actively involved in the East and West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centres and Midlands Cyber, and he directly supports IASME, the NCSC Cyber Essentials Accreditation Body, with quality assurance and scheme development activities.  

Prashant Pillai

Director of University of Wolverhampton’s Cyber Research Institute 

Prof Prashant Pillai is currently working as a Professor of Cyber Security and Director of the Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute (WCRI) at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. WCRI consists of 24 academics and specialises in security for critical national infrastructure with a current focus on detection, prevention and innovate solutions for large scale co-ordinated attacks on complex systems. Prior to this, he worked as Reader in Cyber Security and was the Head of the Cyber Security Research Group at the Department of Computing and Communications Technologies, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK. Pillai is the Associate Editor of IEEE Transaction on Aerospace and Electronic Systems and an Editor of the Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS). 

Richard Fallon

CMO at Cyber Risk Score 

Dr Richard Fallon is the co-Founder and CMO for Cyber Risk Score. Cyber Risk Score is an innovative benchmarking tool which allows businesses and organisations to measure, monitor and manage cybersecurity internally and within their supply chains. 

Cybersecurity for many business owners, MDs and CEO is complex, confusing and costly.  Cyber Risk Score aims to make it simple, straightforward and affordable for every business and organisation. 

Richard has a PhD in Electronic Engineering and was a Business Analyst for British Airways and npower before getting into marketing.  

He has developed a workshop which gives business owners, MDs and CEOs an understanding of cybersecurity, key principles and how they can best manage it in their role.