RBS, Edinburgh and Skyscanner are among those to be shortlisted
Scots organisations at the forefront in the battle against cyber crime are set to be recognised for their efforts in the first ever Scottish Cyber Awards.
With the nominees spanning business, academia and the public sector, the expanding cyber security industry will congregate on November 16 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Edinburgh, where the overall winners will be announced.
Edinburgh’s Napier University received the highest number of nominations, with a chance to win in four categories. While banks and other household businesses are among the nominees, there is a strong showing for SME’s reflecting the diversity and strength of the industry in Scotland.
The important advancement of female expertise is also being recognised in the ‘Outstanding Woman in Cyber’ category, with further finalists still to be announced in the ‘International Contribution’ award.
Chief executive of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Mandy Haeburn-Little, says she is delighted to have had such strong interest in the very first year of the awards.
She said: “We set out from day one to ensure the awards mirrored the industry in Scotland – with excellent work taking place at major organisations, by individuals in the education sector, as well as within Scotland’s many fast-moving smaller firms.
“Scotland has a proud history of innovation and we are making great strides to continue this tradition by becoming an international leader in cyber resilience – and to seize the opportunities that being at the forefront of cyber security can bring to our nation.
“The launch of the first Scottish Cyber Awards is a perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the great work that is happening in Scotland.
“We’d like to thank everyone that entered the awards, as well as all our partners who help to make it possible – and we can now look forward to the big night itself.”
Colin Slater, partner and cyber security lead in Scotland for award sponsor PwC Scotland, said: “What’s encouraging to see here is the range of talents and skillsets on offer, showing that the growing cyber security sector in Scotland is rapidly maturing. It’s equally encouraging to see diversity being celebrated with three strong candidates up for the Outstanding Woman in Cyber award.
“The fact that we have such strong companies operating also suggests that cyber security is an issue businesses are now taking seriously – after all, the cyber companies can only operate in markets where there is commercial interest and customers – and again, this is a welcome thing.”
Cyber crime continues to be a massive concern in Scotland, costing an estimated £3 billion every year. As the first awards to recognise Scotland’s ever-growing reputation as a world leader in countering the threat of cyber crime, the Scottish Cyber Awards have been designed to showcase Scotland’s commitment towards the cyber security excellence and acknowledge the place Scotland has within this industry.
The winners will be decided by a panel of judges from across a number of different sectors. Each winner will receive one of the first specially designed trophies, which are destined to grow in stature over the years.
Scottish Enterprise (SE), Scotland’s main economic development agency, is supporting this event as part of its Cyber Security Network Integrator project. SE aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy by identifying and exploiting the best opportunities for economic growth.
The awards have been timed around the anniversary of the launch of the Scottish Government’s national Cyber Resilience Strategy, which enshrined the ambition that Scotland should become a lead nation for cyber resilience. The ceremony will also become a core part of an ongoing cyclical programme of cyber activity including an annual cyber conference and the well-established Christmas lectures for schools.
SBRC is taking forward the scoping of the concept of a cyber hub for business in Scotland to act as one trusted source of advice and cyber security services at an affordable cost.
The award finalists are:
Best Cyber Start Up
Best New Cyber Talent
Collaboration with Police Scotland
Perth and Kinross Council
Cyber Evangelist of the Year
Leading Light Innovation
Payfont / Edinburgh Napier
Outstanding Woman in Cyber
Natalie Coull – Abertay University
Chelsea Sievewright – Prudential
Kirsty Mitchell – Digital Connections
SME Defender of the Year
Community Impact Award
Glasgow Caledonian University