The Scottish Government has announced a new Scottish Cyber Co-ordination Centre (SC3) to boost the country’s ability to prevent and combat growing cyber threats.
The £1.5 million cyber-coordination centre aims to “strengthen Scotland’s resilience” to withstand the highest level of cyber incident.
Part of the Scottish Government’s Covid Recovery Strategy is a commitment to establishing a collaborative function to combat the accelerating threat of cyber-attacks.
Subsequently, this has led to the creation and rollout of the Scottish Cyber Co-ordination Centre, which will pool expertise to share intelligence, provide early warning of cyber threat and attacks, and manage incidents and lead recovery.
SC3 was announced ahead of the start of CyberScotland Week (28 February), which will feature over a hundred events and activities across Scotland with a focus on building a stronger cyber resilience for individuals, businesses and organisations.
Commenting on the new centre, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “At times of heightened international tension, it is more important than ever to ensure that Scotland is ready to defend itself against cyber-attacks.
“Sustaining and increasing Scotland’s cyber resilience requires us to continue harnessing the power of working in partnership and stepping it up at all levels.
“Establishing a new dedicated cyber co-ordination centre is a bold and ambitious development for Scotland.”
SC3 will be “globally unique” the Government said, and will see collaboration from a pool of expertise from across existing or developing Centres of Excellence.
Included in these are the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Scottish Government, Police Scotland, NSS (Health), the Digital Office (local authorities), HEFESTIS (Higher Education).
Additionally, SC3 will work closely with the cybersecurity industry to support its ambitions.
The SC3 will put a strong focus on the public sector initially and aims to consider how Scotland can manage threat and vulnerability at scale in its first year, as well as how to build the cybersecurity capabilities of the public sector and how responses to incidents can be more rapidly identified, managed and investigated.
The recruitment process to find a leader for the new centre is already underway, with SC3 set to be formally launched later this year.
It is expected that there will be nine dedicated members of staff recruited during year one. In the first instance, staff will be located within the Scottish Government.
Swinney added: “By providing a central coordination function that pools expertise from across several existing or developing Centres of Excellence, we can maximise our ability to work together to address cyber threats and attacks – whether that is sharing intelligence, providing early warnings, managing incidents or leading recovery.
“During CyberScotland week, I would urge individuals, businesses and organisations across Scotland to reflect on what they can do to keep themselves and others safe from emerging threats. The National Cyber Security Centre has trustworthy and up-to-the minute guidance on keeping safe and secure online.”