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Cybersecurity: A Holistic Approach

Digital transformation, in many ways, is a wonderful thing. Even more prevalent since the pandemic, we have new and more efficient ways of working, communicating, purchasing, accessing healthcare, banking, and so much more – making an incredible difference in people’s lives.

One of the major disadvantages of this is, of course, the ever-rampant cybersecurity threats and risk to online safety that go hand-in-hand with technological advancement.

32% of businesses in the UK recalled breaches or attacks in the last 12 months, according to DSIT’s* April 2023 Cyber Security Breaches Survey; however this was 69% for large businesses. More generally, in 2022-23, an estimated 14,890 cyber-crimes were recorded by the police in Scotland. This is astonishingly almost double the last recorded rates pre-pandemic.

What can we do to help prevent this, personally and as organisations?

For business owners and C-suite execs that are constantly wondering this, CEO of Onca Technologies, Kurtis Toy, will be ‘Demystifying Cyber’ at our ScotSoft conference in September. Kurtis will go into more detail on how best to protect organisations online, detailing his experiences as a virtual CISO and practical advice for avoiding the same pitfalls.

It’s becoming more evident that engaging employees at all levels in the cybersecurity mindset is imperative in building true resilience. Yet, the aforementioned Survey noted an apparent decrease in prioritisation of cybersecurity within UK businesses compared to 2022. What’s more, a decline in board engagement with cybersecurity is visible over the last two years. How do we institute a holistic, company-wide approach to increasing cyber threats when organisations are losing interest?

At ScotSoft, we have a variety of speaker sessions covering cybersecurity from all angles, with both technical and leadership perspectives.

ScotSoft speaker Callum Wilson, founder of SameTent, will propose a method of ‘shift left security’ for detecting security issues quickly without slowing down your delivery pipeline. Having found that many organisations have barriers between developers and engineers (who wish to work with agility) and Security (who are not incentivised by agility and typically slow things down), Callum discusses how this efficient approach will help developers find vulnerabilities and coding errors far earlier in the software development process.

IT is forever tasked with forging ahead with improvements in business capability and efficiency, while Cyber has the unenviable task of ensuring that organisations don’t fall foul to a cyber-attack or data breach. Enter a ‘Tech Smackdown’ debate courtesy of emphasising that while there is often tension between these departments, it’s important to understand each other and work together in fighting for the same goal.

In Katie Rowan’s session, the IBM cloud security consultant will cover threat modelling as a way of building security into your designs. Have organisations considered the faults in business logic and any possible attack paths that they might accidentally be building in? Instead of security being an afterthought, learn the best practices behind threat modelling, and how it can save you time and money.

While varied in topic and target audience, all of these talks run along a similar theme: reinforcing the idea of embedding cybersecurity approaches into every facet of your business, and not just with the security team.

And if you really want to be shaken to your core, Alex Woerndle of My Empire Group will present the genuine horror story of how his 9-year-old successful IT company spanning Australia and Indonesia experienced a malicious hack on its datacentres, starting a waterfall effect that ultimately wiped the company out in under 2 weeks.Key takeaway from this talk being YES, IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.

Catch all of these – and so much more – at ScotSoft 2023 in Edinburgh on 28th September. Not got tickets yet? “Secure” them now.

There are a limited number of tables and tickets still available for the Young Software Engineer Awards dinner – book here or contact Catriona Blair ( 

*ScotSoft is now a CPD certified event, where delegates can gain CPD points for their attendance and participation.* 

*Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, formerly the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

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