CyberScotland Week returns to highlight the importance of cybersecurity to Scottish businesses

Kirstie Steele, Cyber Resilience Community Lead at the SBRC

CYBERSCOTLAND Week, Scotland’s annual week-long festival of events on cyber awareness, cyber careers, and innovation in cybersecurity, is to return next year. Taking place from 22-28 February 2021, the week will bring together influencers, experts, and the next generation of talent for the third consecutive year to increase awareness of staying safe and secure online.

The Scottish Government will work in partnership with key stakeholders from a broad range of sectors – including the Scottish Business Resilience Centre – to make CyberScotland Week bigger than previous years. At a time when businesses have been put under unprecedented pressure, there has been a parallel rise in cyber-attacks. Events will not only educate businesses in identifying such attacks, but also outline how they can manage the risks accordingly.

With 70 events being held during the event earlier this year, it is hoped that the 2021 event will follow suit as more people can attend CyberScotland Week than ever before as it adds virtual sessions for the first time. With various conferences, workshops and webinars going digital, a wider audience from across the length and breadth of Scotland will be able to join in and participate. Sessions will explore the challenges within a fast-changing threat landscape and the innovation that has come about as a result. The 2021 agenda is already taking shape with further sessions to be confirmed via the website in the coming weeks and months.

Events and workshops over the week-long event will utilise secure video conferencing technology, and innovative ideas to make events engaging will be a key component to ensure the week is a success.

As with previous years, CyberScotland Week 2021 will focus on the three key themes of Protection, Innovation and Skills and Careers. Across these sessions, partners will showcase the innovative work taking place across Scotland’s cyber sector and, as the job market flexes, skills development and career opportunities in the cyber security industry will likely be of significant interest to attendees.

Public Finance Minister Ben Macpherson said: “Cyber criminals pose a significant risk to businesses, organisations and individuals, and we all have a part to play in making Scotland more and more digitally resilient.

“CyberScotland Week is now a landmark date in Scotland’s cyber calendar and a source of valuable advice and information about how to stay safe online and keep your data secure. This is even more important as we spend more time online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is also an opportunity for Scotland’s rapidly growing tech sector and world class universities to showcase their expertise, innovation and latest products.”

As part of CyberScoland Week, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) will not only lead and contribute to several sessions throughout the week, it will also host the Scottish Cyber Awards set to take place on Thursday 25th February 2021.  The awards celebrate the individuals and organisations working to make a difference to Scotland’s cyber security across public and private sectors.

Kirstie Steele, Cyber Resilience Community Lead at the SBRC said: “The last seven months has reinforced how much we rely on technology as part of our everyday lives – allowing us to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues as we navigate the pandemic. However, this has created an opportunity for hackers to take advantage of our vulnerability for their own gain. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we know what to do look out for and put steps in place to reduce the chance of us becoming a victim, and the impact if we do.”

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