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Roundup of Cyber Scotland Week

Take a look at the March blog from our Cyber Cluster Manager, Ciara, providing a summary of the highlights of Cyber Scotland Week 2021.

CSW2021 is over for another year! It was great to see the wide range of events being hosted throughout the week. I wasn’t able to get to them all so here are a few highlights from me for the ones I did manage to attend…..lots of conflicts with diaries so plenty of other great events I simply couldn’t make but I am intending listening to lots of the recordings over the next few weeks! 

I had a quiet Monday on Day 1 of CSW to let me finish off my planning and prepping for the week, but I was delighted to be asked to speak at the Ladies of Glasgow Hacking Society Launch event where I gave an overview of Cyber Scotland Week and the aspirations of Scottish Government and ScotlandIS to promote and highlight all the activities in cyber security in Scotland across 3 key areas – cyber awareness, innovation and skills/careers.

Day 1 also saw the launch of the Cyber Resilient Scotland: strategic framework from the Scottish Government Cyber Resilience team.

Day 2 for me was spent mainly tuning into the FutureScot Cyber Resilience event, which had talks from Ciaran Martin, Colin Cook and many more insightful and fascinating speakers. I was also speaking in the afternoon slot on how we are building a cyber resilience ecosystem through the work of the cluster.

From there, I went to host our own event which explored what exactly cyber clusters are and why there is such a focus on them across the UK and internationally. With participants from Cyber Ireland, Cyber North (North East England Cyber Cluster) and Cynam (Cheltenham cyber cluster), we held a panel exploring the benefits and challenges of cyber clusters and how collaboration can help. The recording for this event is here.

I then jumped on to the SBRC fireside chat to hear from Siker Cyber, SBRC and their invited guests. Great chat across how companies respond to and handle incidents both internally but also how they manage the comms to customers and the general public. 

The CyberScotland partnership was announced on day 2 with the new website also going live on this day too.

Day 3 saw us running our second Cyber Innovation Clinic, where we had 3 amazing startups pitching to our panel of experts:, Polydigi Tech Ltd., Zortrex. I have written a brief article to re-cap how this went. Thanks to all the panel, who had such great tips and advice to support these start-ups! We are now looking for companies to participate in the next one in a few month’s time – do get in touch if you are interested!

I managed to attend 7 events across the day so lots of networking and learning – I attended the NCC Group webinar on cyber security in healthcare, Quorum Cyber event on maturing your blue team security, SBRC with IASME and CENSIS on IOT security, and Decode cyber solutions on cyber security and the wellbeing of your staff’s mental health.

Then wrapping up with a Women in Cyber Scotland event where we had the inspiring Jane Frankland speak. And finally ended the day with a Cyber Scotland Connect event which is always great! 

Throughout the week it was great to see the cyber community support the charity and volunteer sector with a number of events aimed at these organisations. My colleague David Ferguson attended the Techfest Digital and Converged Communications event which covered cyber security basics for charities – great to see and such an important area that we focus on to help keep Scotland safe and secure.

I was starting to feel the burn by Day 4! Despite being at home for the week it was still a hectic and busy week – but I really enjoyed it and I hope you all managed to find time to enjoy it too and join other events as well as host your own. Thursday was the busiest day of CSW with over 40 events running on this one day!

I popped into events by Azacus, NCSC, and Ionburst during the day – all really interesting and lots of key takeaways for the attendees to take back to their businesses. NCSC were promoting their cyber first programme and the benefits for companies to take on their bursary students.

I also participated in the Scotsman Annual Debate alongside the cyber heavyweights of David Ferbrache, Jude McCorry and Natalie Coull, with Minister Ivan McKee also making an appearance to kick off the session. It was a fun discussion and I was delighted to be involved.

After that, I could spend the rest of CSW2021 enjoying being an attendee and Thursday evening was great fun – first we had the TechForce quiz, quickly followed by the SBRC Community Awards!

Day 4 also had the widely anticipated Cambridge Analytica event which was jointly hosted by SCVO and ScotlandIS, and my colleague David Ferguson hosted this event. David also made the i-confidential and Quorum Cyber event which looked at post-incident response in light of the SolarWinds breach.

I only managed to join one event on Day 5 due to other demands on my time – IDCyber Solutions with Quorum Cyber and M3 Networks – chatting about the skills they look for and emphasising the need for soft skills and problem solving mentality being just as key as technical skills (although technical skills are of course very important for certain roles).

My colleague David Ferguson did do better and also joined the Dionach event, looking at whether businesses are Ransomware ready, and a Regtech event which addressed future trends in Regtech and combating financial crime. The Regtech forum runs monthly events and the next one is a joint ScotlandIS and Regtech event – details below in the event section!

There were many other great events on last week so I am already watching some of the replays – do please send any recordings back to the CSW team so we can add them to the website!

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