Event report: Holyrood cyber security drinks reception at US consulate general
Delegates from Holyrood Connect’s ninth annual Public Sector Cyber Security conference celebrated the close working relationship between US and Scotland
The first Holyrood cyber Security drinks reception was an international affair, hosted in the US consulate by principal officer for the United States in Scotland Ellen Wong. As delegates from Holyrood Connect’s ninth annual Public Sector Cyber Security conference enjoyed a transatlantic combination of prosecco, Jack Daniels and canapes featuring Scottish salmon, roast beef and stilton in the impressive surroundings of the consulate’s Georgian headquarters, they celebrated the close working relationship between the two countries.
“We greatly value our strong relationship with the Scottish Government as well as our collaboration in this field and many others,” said Wong. “Cyber security is of fundamental importance to promoting global prosperity and security. The cyber space offers untold commercial and economic opportunities, has the potential to unleash growth and investment on an unprecedented scale, it has the capacity to transform our lives at work and at home. Both the United States and Scotland are at the forefront of realising this global revolution and ensuring that both our countries stand to gain from advances in cyber space.”
New public finance and migration minister Ben Macpherson had been dropped in at the deep end on only his second day in post, which also covers the digital economy. His first engagement in the new role had been speaking at the conference, followed by attendance at the evening reception. Macpherson joked about an emerging theme, since his first engagement in his previous role, as minister for Europe, migration and international development, had been at a celebration of American Independence Day, organised by the US consulate in July 2018.
“As I said then and I’m proud to say tonight, the Scottish Government is really proud of its longstanding relationship with the United States, which goes back well over 200 years and the US has had a consular presence in Scotland since 1798, which is remarkable,” Macpherson said.
He celebrated both the Scots influence on North America and the investment of American companies in Scotland as well as the work going on in Scotland in cyber security and cyber resilience.
He added: “Earlier today at Dynamic Earth, I was delighted to be able to thank colleagues across the Scottish public sector for their hard work to make sure our digital public services are more secure and safe to use and just like today’s conference, this evening’s reception is part of Cyber Scotland Week, a week where over 60 events are taking place across the country, raising awareness of good cyber resilience, cyber skills development and cyber security careers. We couldn’t have delivered this week without our partners, Holyrood Connect and ScotlandIS, and Scotland has ambitions through all the organisations represented, and from the government, to be a world-leading nation in cyber resilience.”