The Cyber Christmas Lectures, headed up by Martin Beaton, cyber security cluster coordinator for ScotlandIS, has been named Scotland’s cyber security Champion of Champions at this year’s Scottish Cyber Awards.
The ceremony, which was held tonight at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh city centre, recognises cyber security innovators, pioneers and leaders, and brings the Scottish cyber community together to celebrate its achievements.
Now in its third year, the awards show, hosted by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), attracted a record number of nominees.
The Champion of Champions award is said to represent the very best of those nominees. To be eligible to scoop this top prize, candidates need to have won at least one other award on the night; Beaton was also named winner of Best Cyber Education Programme for his work in the Christmas Lectures.
Beaton told DIGIT: “It’s very surprising to win, when you think about who we were up against. It’s amazing to have won. We hope that with this win we can encourage more kids to go into cyber security.
“Events like this are important because it is crucial that we bring the cyber community together. Over the past seven years, we have done the Scottish School Cyber Security Christmas Tour. The support we have had from the community has been indispensable to us.”
The Scottish Cyber Awards receive backing from sponsors such as CGI, Clydesdale Bank, Symantic, Accenture and Trend Micro – and, for a second year in a row, DIGIT joins the list of supporters.
Scottish Cyber Awards judge, Richard Holmes, VP Cyber Security Services for CGI, said the calibre of entrants this year was extremely high and that during the judging process it revealed many innovative approaches being taken in terms of cyber security in Scotland.
Mandy Haeburn-Little, CEO of Scottish Business Resilience Centre and chair of the judges, said: “This year, more than any other, has been a game changer for the cyber security industry in Scotland. We have created a genuinely unique marketplace for skills, innovation incubation and thought leadership in technology.
“There is nowhere else I would rather be than helping to lead this transformation in Scotland. I believe this will be the next biggest industry in Scotland.
“This is the epitome of showcasing talent. There is no other forum that reaches from school children to senior cyber security professionals. You can be any age and you can be any gender. You can come from nowhere overnight. The awards are a very significant event in the cyber calendar.
“Tonight’s ceremony has been a sell-out success. It sold out six weeks before the event and we had to shut the waiting list. If you tried to bank the enthusiasm for these awards it would be genuinely overwhelming.”
Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy & Fair Work said: “Tonight was a wonderful example of the cybersecurity community coming together to showcase the positives of the good work that is going on both in the sector and across Scotland’s industries. Scotland is an optimally sized country, with great potential, which means we can get the right people in the room to make the right decisions.”
And the Complete List of Winners Is…
Best Cyber Start-Up
Best New Cyber Talent
Peter Aaby – Edinburgh Napier University
Best Cyber Breakthrough
Collaboration with Police Scotland
Cyber Evangelist of the Year
Harry McLaren – ECS Security
Cyber Security Teacher of the Year
Scott Hunter – Kyle Academy
Outstanding Woman in Cyber
Leading Light Innovation
Best Cyber Education Programme
Cyber Christmas Lectures
Outstanding Cyber Team
University of St Andrews IT Security Team and Police Scotland – Joint Winners
Best Customer Experience
Comments from the Winners
Federico Charosky, Managing Director at Quorum Cyber said of his win: “It is incredible to actually win this award, this provides incredible recognition to the team who work behind the scenes at our company.
“Events like this are important because it is about time that Scotland starts to make noise about the excellent talent it has. The reason we established in Scotland was because of its wealth of talent. The fact that it is being recognised publicly and shouted about is exactly what we should be doing.”
Toni Scullion, a previous winner of the Champion of Champions award said: “Awards like this are so important to make sure that people involved in this industry have the opportunity to network and establish new contacts. We need to promote more the excellent work that is happening in Scotland.”