Cyber security for Scottish businesses and charities to get half a million funding boost

Written by Jenni Davidson on 25 June 2018 in News

The Scottish Government has published cyber resilience action plans for the private and third sectors

Cyber security key - Image credit: Fotolia

The Scottish Government is to commit half a million pounds of funding to help businesses and charities protect themselves from cyber attacks.

The funding, which will be administered through a voucher scheme, will help organisations achieve the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)’s Cyber Essentials certification.

Further details of the scheme will be given in the autumn.

The funding announcement comes as the Scottish Government published cyber resilience action plans for the private and third sectors.

The action plans aim to increase awareness of cyber threats and to promote good practice to defend against them, with a focus on practical steps that smaller organisations can take.

One key action is the establishment of cyber catalyst working groups, which will lead on increasing awareness of cyber threats and spreading good practice to defend against them.

The plans also highlight the need for a common approach across the sectors, a focus on cyber resilience in the supply chain and improved information and support, especially for SMEs, which may not have the resources to implement the wide range of advice available on cyber security.

The two cyber resilience action plans were developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with the National Cyber Resilience Leaders’ Board (NCRLB), the NCSC and private and third sector organisations.

The NCRLB is a cross-sector group of experts who provide advice to the Scottish Government on issues around cyber resilience.

Dave McClure, Head of GBFM Security Contract Delivery at BT and the lead private sector representative on the NCRLB, said: “Cyber-crime increasingly crosses international borders and only by working together across multiple sectors can we combat the threats posed to our increasingly digital society.

“This new action plan, developed by our cyber security community, will provide support to organisations of all sizes.”

David McNeill, Digital Director of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), who is the lead third sector representative on the NCRLB, said third sector organisations “face the same threats from cyber criminals as everyone else”.

He added: “SCVO are delighted to be taking part in the Cyber Catalyst Working Group, working with partners to support the implementation of the action plan and to help build a more digitally confident third sector in Scotland.”

The Scottish Government committed to producing a series of cyber resilience plans focusing on different areas in last year’s programme for government.

It published a public sector cyber resilience action plan in November 2017 and a learning and skills plan in March 2018.

The final cyber resilience action plan, on economic opportunity, will be published later this year.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Cyber threats are growing and it is vital, as part of our ambitions as a modern, digital nation, that our businesses and charities understand this.

“They must also be supported to take steps to protect themselves.

“No organisation, however large or small, is immune.

“Attacks are as real a risk to the small bakery or charity that relies on a database to operate effectively as they are to the multinational banking organisations in our financial districts.

“These plans set out how we will work in partnership with some of Scotland’s leading businesses and charities to help tackle this threat and are an important steps towards our ambition to be a world-leading nation in cyber resilience.”

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