A £500,000 contract to extend cyber resilience training to more than 250 organisations across Scotland in the UK has been awarded by the Scottish Government.
The grant will enable the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) to run online and in-person workshops for public services and third sector health, housing, and social care bodies to ensure they are better prepared and protected.
Scotland has been subject to a number of disruptive large scale cyber-attacks in recent years with developments in Ukraine and the recent COVID lockdown exacerbating the situation.
The training, which has already benefited 450 organisations, includes mock scenarios such as a third-party software compromise, a ransomware attack and a threatened sensitive data leak.
It is hoped more than 250 organisations will benefit from the training programme, which comes ahead of a major summit in Edinburgh as part of European Cyber Security Month in October.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “We have all seen the devastating impact of an organisation falling victim to a cyber-related incident, so extending training to make more people aware of the risks is absolutely crucial.
“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring Scotland leads the way in cyber resilience and security.
“This extended training will help many more organisations to stave off the threat of an attack, and protect against disruptive and costly data breaches.
“The workshops provide practical guidance to mitigate or respond to hostile cyber-attacks. I would urge eligible organisations to take up this opportunity to ensure they are protected.”
Jude McCorry, Chief Executive Officer of the SBRC, said: “There is no denying that the ongoing pressure facing everyone from a cyber-perspective has increased massively in recent years. Just as we see one organisation recover from the grips of a cyber-incident, another is targeted.
“It is also now believed that cyber criminals have targeted more than three-quarters of public sector organisations and, closer to home, we have seen this play out with a number of disruptive large-scale attacks already in Scotland.
“We don’t want to see more Scottish organisations fall victim to these attacks and that is why upskilling and awareness programmes continue to be so vital.”
Joseph Carson, Ethical Hacker, Chief Security Scientist and Advisory CISO at access management company Delinea says he is delighted with the initiative, highlighting the benefits of grants such as these, which open the doors to a cybersecurity budget which wouldn’t typically be available to smaller sectors/organisations.
“It is truly great to see the Scottish Government setting an example by taking the initiative to help educate multiple public services, health, housing and social care bodies to best prepare them for very real and somewhat probable cyber attacks, helping more businesses aim to hit the cyber essentials five security controls," he said.
"Grants like these are an essential step to encouraging smaller organisations to strengthen security awareness and business resiliency against the ever-increasing cyber threats, where the budget wouldn’t necessarily always be available," he added.