Scottish companies will receive a cybersecurity boost from CENSIS, Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing, imaging, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Thanks to additional funding from the Scottish Government, the group is expanding its IoT Secure programme, which will help Scotland’s SMEs, spinouts, and startups develop and use IoT products and services more securely.
In the first year of the programme, over 20 companies received free guidance and advice from CENSIS’s IoT experts.
The additional investment will extend the programme to run over the next 12 months. Another 20 companies will have the opportunity to take part, from developers of IoT products and services to end-users and businesses looking to introduce new IoT-led processes.
The programme provides an accessible avenue for SMEs to receive cybersecurity advice on a one-to-one, tailored basis. CENSIS will work with companies at any stage of product, service or process development to identify their needs and challenges, provide advice and guidance and create an action plan that can be regularly reviewed to track progress.
Navigating upcoming changes to cybersecurity legislation will form a core element of the support. The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) Bill includes a range of new regulations for connected devices that CENSIS can help businesses to understand and prepare for.
The funding will also cover a pilot workshop that will see university students engage with a Scottish company and collaborate to solve IoT cybersecurity challenges.
Not only will this help boost cybersecurity at the company, it can potentially lead to future work placements and a wider rollout across other Scottish universities.
Acting business development director at CENSIS Cade Wells said: “IoT comes into so many aspects of our lives: at home, at work and in public infrastructure and the market is growing at pace.
“This year SMEs will find that IoT cybersecurity is much more of a priority, with legislation changes coming soon. Our goal is to help companies to understand what this means for their products and services, ultimately helping to share best practice and create high quality, secure IoT devices.
“We’re looking to work with a range of companies on a flexible consultancy basis, offering a hotline for people to get in touch and ask for help as and when they need it.”
He added: “That said, the support programme will likely follow a three-stage approach: initial conversations and advice, and the development of an action plan, followed by regular updates and revisiting the plan when new challenges arise.
“We’ll also connect SMEs to other organisations and experts in our community to help tackle any cybersecurity and resilience issues.”
The funding announcement for CENSIS IoT Cybersecurity programme was made as part of Cyber Scotland Week, which takes place from the 28th of February to the 6th of March.