I have spent a significant part of the last nine months understanding and getting to know the cyber security community and ecosystem in Scotland and finding out where cluster activities can best gain traction, show value and provide collaboration opportunities among business, academia and wider industries. Now that the groundwork has been laid, now is the time to harness all of the fantastic innovation across our sector and really start collaborating and creating cross company engagement.
The title of this article is somewhat flippant as, of course, the engagement does need to be of mutual benefit to both the cluster and the cyber companies giving their time to support it.
So, what do you want and expect the cyber cluster to achieve? And are you willing to get engaged to make that happen? My door is always open should you want to have a conversation around this at any time.
I want to explore ways of bringing the cluster together more, and to start this I have set up our first Scottish cyber cluster meetup, with speakers from DIT and DCMS Cyber Growth team confirmed. This is a chance to come together to discuss the focus of the cluster, as well as gaining insights from both DIT and DCMS. The event is on June 30th at 3pm – details here.
We are now embarking on a Cyber Security benchmarking exercise and I encourage all cyber security companies in Scotland to take part, you can find more details here. The aim is to gain insights into the cyber cluster in Scotland, in terms of areas of specialism, product development, employment, investment, and many more topics so that we can create a baseline from which to monitor the growth year on year. We will also be using the results to compare the Scottish cyber cluster with other clusters in the UK and across the globe. Your input will be of enormous value.
Other items I wanted to highlight:
- NCSC accelerator – applications for the next cohort are now open.
- Scale-up/Growth webinar – covering investor readiness, the importance of a good start-up culture and guidance on protecting your IP.
- Cyber Exchange – if not already registered then please do so. This is a DCMS run website and seeks to map the UK cyber community as well as provide news on opportunities and events.
- Cyber innovation Den Pitching competition – The techUK Cyber Innovation Den Pitching Competition will bring together ten of the most innovative cyber SMEs to pitch their products and services to a panel of expert judges from across the private and public sectors. Closing date is 12th June.
- DCMS have published an Online Safety Tech Sector report – it’s great to see Scotland playing such a strong role in this with Ian Stevenson, Cyan Forensics, being assigned as the chair of the new Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA). We have a webinar scheduled to focus on this growing tech sector.
- NCSC Cyber awareness campaign – The campaign helps the public understand how to stay secure online during the current crisis and encourages people to forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please pass on to anyone who may benefit from being aware of this.
And last, but by no means least, I wanted to mention the proposal for a Scottish cyber security innovation hub that I am working on with Prof Bill Buchanan and many others in the cyber community. I am creating a separate article on this so will share more news on this soon.
I am continuing to have conversations with the cyber cluster despite the lockdown so do get in touch if we haven’t spoken and you would like to understand the aims of the cluster better, and how you can get involved. Drop me a line at email@example.com.