Government launches strategy amid growing cyber crime levels
A government strategy has been launched to help businesses and individuals stay safe online amid warnings Scotland is facing an “unprecedented rate” of cyber crime.
The Scottish Government launched its cyber resilience strategy setting out a series of actions to be taken by the public, private and third sectors and ministers.
Existing cyber resilience skills will be mapped to identify gaps while ways to embed the issue into teacher training will be explored.
Fewer than half of Scots report problems encountered online
Aberdeen to host Scotland's first open data hub
Row breaks out over public CCTV funding
Research will be commissioned to identify more accurately the impacts of crime as well as current levels of trust and confidence in digital public services.
A cyber resilience network will be created to “share evidence of what works”, the strategy - launched in Edinburgh - confirms.
Citizens are also being urged to take simple steps such as producing strong passwords, downloading software updates and using mobile screen locks and antivirus protections.
A Scottish Government commissioned survey published earlier this week found that 47 per cent of Scots had experienced a problem whilst online.
However, only 10 per cent said they were vigilant with passwords while 11 per cent refrained from putting personal details online.
The strategy states: "Just as we have seen the benefits of digital technology enabling and promoting legitimate economic activity, we are now experiencing cyber crime at an unprecedented rate.
“Every day we hear of new online vulnerabilities, attacks and incidents affecting parts of Scottish society – from individuals through to large organisations. Cyber crime is also under-reported.
“As a result, the scale of the problem is difficult to grasp, and at the moment we do not have a full understanding of the complex risks that cyber crime presents to Scotland.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Our increasing reliance on digital technologies can make us more vulnerable to the criminals who seek to exploit them for malicious purposes.
“For example, digital technologies can help criminals to bully vulnerable people, sexually exploit children, steal intellectual property, or destroy critical infrastructure.
“I want us all to take steps to minimise these risks, so that Scotland becomes one of the safest countries in the world to live in and one of the most reliable places to do business with.”
George Scott, head of cyber security for KPMG in Scotland, which was on the group that developed the strategy, said: “Businesses not working to enhance their cyber capabilities today will, relative to their peers, become more attractive targets tomorrow.”