It has now been over a year since I took on the role of Cluster Manager for Scotland’s cyber cluster, and what a year it has been – having a global pandemic and many months of home working was certainly not in the plan, however like all tech and cyber businesses, we have transitioned our approach and have continued to engage with and support the community accordingly. Next month’s blog I will reflect on the activities of the cluster over the year and start to look ahead at 2021!
October was, of course, Cyber Security Awareness month and to mark this we ran a number of events. The first was a joint Women in Cyber (Scotland) event with Women in Cyber Wales, which was about bringing the community together, understanding our ecosystems better and forming a wider network. We are planning on doing further joint events with Women in Cyber Wales.
The second event was a cyber innovation clinic, and I was delighted with how it turned out – all great pitches and insightful and constructive feedback from the panel. I did a separate write up on this event. We will definitely be running more of these in early 2021.
Work is still proceeding on the business case for the Scottish Cyber Innovation hub and the high-level business case is close to completion. There has also been a lot of work happening on the Scottish Cyber Cluster report which many of you have contributed to through our cyber cluster survey earlier in the year. The intention of the report is to capture a ‘snap-shot’ of the Scottish cyber cluster so that we can track growth but also have a clearer view on its current make-up. This report is nearing completion and should be available in the near future.
Some opportunities I also wanted to highlight in this month’s update:
DASA (Defence and Security Accelerator) have announced another open call for innovation – details can be found here, the closing date is December 3rd.
Cyber Mission to Switzerland, 1 December 2020
DIT Switzerland would like to showcase UK Cyber Security exhibitors who can present case studies to illustrate the challenges, threats and potential solutions in the following areas:
· Intellectual Property Theft
· Prevention of Sabotage and Interruption of Production
· Security by Design
Please find further information on the registration process and agenda here: UK Cyber Security Seminar for Swiss Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing.
Australia – The New South Wales (NSW) State Government is gearing to set up a government wide cyber security services panel in an attempt to overcome sourcing issues. The NSW Department of Customer Service has approached the market to invite industry to help establish Cyber Security Purchasing Arrangements (CSPA). This arrangement will create a framework that will scale for future growth and demand of cyber suppliers, simplify and streamline the path for government to contract a supplier, provide assurance of suppliers, and ultimately reduce barriers for companies to do business with NSW government. It is in the best interest for any UK cyber security company wanting to operate in Australia with state government to submit for the EOI which will close on 13 November. EOI details here and Media news here. While this is specific only to NSW for now, given the collaborative nature of Australia’s other states and territories this may well be adopted elsewhere if viewed successfully.
The next cyber cluster meetup is on November 17th at 4pm with speakers from Scottish Development International, CyLON and SE FISS (Funding Information & Support Service). These events are always kept to an hour and are aimed at cyber security companies but open to everyone.
And you may find me mentioning the next item a lot over the next few months, but planning is now underway for Cyber Scotland Week – as per previous years we are encouraging industry to get involved by setting up cyber focussed events. Get in touch if you want to know more or please register your events if already planning them!
We have an Applied Cyber course starting in early November. It’s an intensive 12-week full-time, online course for people who are interested in a career in Cyber Security. It’s primarily aimed at people on universal credit, or similar, but who have a STEM degree or equivalent work experience. Full details are available here. If you know of anyone eligible to whom this would be of value, please share. Also, when this cohort of learners finishes in January, we will be looking to find job interviews for them; if you think you may have a vacancy do let me know.
Our first group of graduates have completed the NPA in Fundamentals of Computing, and are currently seeking entry-level employment to continue to build their career path into the tech sector. The 10-week remote learning opportunity has provided our graduates with an SCQF Level 6 qualification and three Microsoft Accredited courses that map to vendor courses. They have been taken through an intensive training programme covering security, network and server fundamentals. If you’re considering hiring for an entry-level IT role, more information can be found here.
SDS would also like to invite you to participate in the development of new Scottish Apprenticeships in Digital Technology at SCQF Level 8. This will be done through workshops and technical expert groups followed by wider consultation. The level of engagement is entirely down to each organisation that wants to get involved. The workshops will start from November 11th so please do get in touch with SDS if you would like to find out more about the process: Laura.McEwan@sds.co.uk
Have your say – New National Occupational Standards for IIoT
ODAG Consultants Ltd. are developing new National Occupational Standards (NOS) relating to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). To ensure that these NOS are up-to-date and fit for purpose they are seeking feedback from employers, industry experts, training providers, further and higher education and other relevant stakeholders across the UK. The NOS consultation for IIoT along with NOS downloads and a link to the survey can be found here: https://odag.co.uk/iiot-new-nos/. The closing date for the consultation is Monday 16th November 2020.