Cyber warriors in the Capital scoop seven out of 11 awards
Eleven cyber champions, including seven from Edinburgh, have been honoured for their roles in battling e-crime in Scotland.
They picked up their individual Scottish Cyber Awards at a special ceremony at Edinburgh’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which saw nearly 200 professionals from across business, academia and the public sector turn out for the occasion.
Bill Buchanan of Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh-based ZoneFox were the big winners on the night, each picking up two awards, including the prized accolades of Cyber Evangelist of the Year and Champion of Champions respectively.
The full winners list reads as follows:
Champion of Champions – ZoneFox (based in Edinburgh)
Best Cyber Start Up – Net Defence (Stirling)
Best New Cyber Talent – Harry McLaren, ECS (Edinburgh)
Cyber Evangelist of the Year – Bill Buchanan, Edinburgh Napier University
Leading Light Innovation – The Law Society of Scotland (Edinburgh)
Outstanding Woman in Cyber – Dr Natalie Coull, Abertay University (Dundee)
SME Defender of the Year – 7 Elements (Edinburgh)
Community Impact Award – Glasgow Caledonian University
Collaboration with Police Scotland – Edinburgh Napier University vSoc/DFET
International Contribution to Cyber Security – ZoneFox (Edinburgh)
Cyber Teacher of the Year – Scott Hunter, Kyle Academy (Ayr)
The awards, which were hosted by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) and supported by Scottish Enterprise and PwC, set out to mirror the good work of the IT sector in Scotland – with ground-breaking projects taking place in major organisations, by individuals in the education sector, and within Scotland’s many fast-moving smaller firms.
Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, gave the introductory address in which he highlighted the importance of defending and educating the nation against cyber crime.
SBRC chief executive Mandy Haeburn-Little said: “The night was a superb showcase of talent in what is a growing and increasingly vital part of the Scottish economy as the threat of cyber crime impacts every single person.
“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 was a perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the great work that is happening in Scotland.
“We’d like to thank everyone that entered and attended the awards and made it the success it was. We hope it’s the start of something special for years to come.
Colin Slater, partner and cyber security lead in Scotland for award sponsor PwC Scotland, said: “Firstly congratulations to all the winners. There’s been an incredibly strong body of work put across not only by the finalists but all of the entrants. It’s reassuring that while cyber security may be a nascent sector in Scotland, it has a strong bedrock to build from in the future. That’s comforting, not only as someone with a passion for the field but also as someone who uses digital services and has concerns about the risks and security of these services.
“We need people like the entrants not only to raise the standard for those who follow but to be the ambassadors, encouraging interest and adoption at all levels – from the average person in the street to the C suite. Cyber security is only as good as its weakest point and together we can make that weakest point a tougher nut to crack.
“Scotland can show the way in cyber security and organisations like Scottish Enterprise and the SBRC are to be praised for their efforts in not only raising awareness but also in what they are doing to offer solutions to those out there. This event is just one part of how Scotland can continue to shine a light in this field to help others across the globe.”
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 showcased Scotland’s commitment towards the cyber security excellence and acknowledge the place Scotland has within this industry.
Scottish Enterprise (SE) supported the event as part of its Cyber Security Network Integrator project designed to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy by identifying and exploiting the best opportunities for economic growth.
Kim Robertson, project manager for Sector Delivery at SE, said: “Cyber crime continues to be a massive concern in Scotland – costing an estimated £3b per year – and its importance is reflected in the Scottish Government’s national Cyber Resilience Strategy which was launched this time last year.
“Well done to all the superb winners and impressive nominees – their track record in innovation demonstrates Scotland’s position as a leader in cyber resilience technology. Scottish Enterprise is proud to have supported this event – it is significant, not just because of the pivotal role that cyber resilience plays in the security and health of all businesses, across all sectors, but also because of Scotland’s role at the forefront of cyber technology.”
The awards were timed around the anniversary of the launch of the Scottish Government’s national Cyber Resilience Strategy, which enshrines the ambition that Scotland should become a lead nation for cyber resilience.
The ceremony will 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 says it’s also taking forward the concept of a cyber hub for business in Scotland which would act as one trusted source of advice and cyber security services.