Small businesses are being warned of the dangers of cyber criminals thanks to the talent of a Teesside University animation team.
The North East Regional Cyber Crime Unit turned to the Digital Studio in the University’s School of Computing, Media & the Arts for assistance in producing a series of accessible, easy to understand animations highlighting the dangers of online criminals to small businesses owners.
The Digital Studio is operated by computing graduates and provides them with a chance to experience working on real-life client projects, gaining valuable workplace skills and experience.
The Cyber Crime Unit is part of the North East Regional Special Operations Unit, a collaboration between the three forces of Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria Police.
Detective Sergeant Martin Wilson of Durham Constabulary, Regional Cyber Project Co-ordinator, said: 'We’ve been doing a lot of engagement and wanted to find a different way of forewarning people about these sort of crimes.
'The Cyber Essentials campaign gives guidance for small businesses to equip them with the tools and knowledge to guard against cyber-attacks.
'We wanted to find a way to get across something quite technical and keep it relevant to them, yet also at the same time technically correct.'
Using the concept of a ‘cyber gremlin’ the team at the Digital Studio developed six 90 second animations covering topics including viruses and malware, patching, access control and privilege, firewalls and gateways and secure configuration.
As part of this project we wanted to showcase the skills here in the North East and the team at Teesside University have done a fantastic job.
Detective Sergeant Wilson added: 'As part of this project we wanted to showcase the skills here in the North East and the team at Teesside University have done a fantastic job.
'The campaign has been shared nationally and we’re getting a lot of really positive feedback on it.'
Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) of the School of Computing, Media and the Arts Siobhan Fenton said: 'At Teesside University we are dedicated to providing the best possible student and learning experience and equip our graduates with all the necessary skills to ensure that they can meet the demands of employers.
'Being able to work on live projects for real clients is a vital part of this experience.
'We are delighted that the Digital Studio has been able to provide such a useful service to the Cyber Crime Unit and it is fantastic to see the animations being shared and used by officers and police forces across the country.'