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CyberScotland Week to Return as Pandemic Drives Up Cyberattacks

Michael Behr

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CyberScotland Week

The week-long festival will also cover cyber skills and career opportunities.

Scottish cybersecurity festival CyberScotland Week will return next year on 22nd-28th of February to increase awareness of staying safe and secure online.

Backed by the Scottish Government, along with key stakeholders such as the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), the event will bring together influencers, experts, and the next generation of talent.

As with previous years, CyberScotland Week 2021 will focus on three key themes – Protection, Innovation and Skills and Careers.

Across these sessions, partners will showcase the work taking place across Scotland’s cyber sector. With the job market under stress, the event will also present and discuss skills development and career opportunities in the cybersecurity industry.

As part of CyberScoland Week, the SBRC will not only lead and contribute to several sessions throughout the week, it will also host the Scottish Cyber Awards set to take place on 25th February. The awards celebrate the individuals and organisations working to make a difference to Scotland’s cybersecurity across public and private sectors.

Kirstie Steele, Cyber Resilience Community Lead at the SBRC said: “The last seven months have reinforced how much we rely on technology as part of our everyday lives – allowing us to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues as we navigate the pandemic.

“However, this has created an opportunity for hackers to take advantage of our vulnerability for their own gain. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we know what to look out for and put steps in place to reduce the chance of us becoming a victim, and the impact if we do.”

CyberScotland Week comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has put businesses under unprecedented pressure. This has come with a parallel rise in cyber-attacks.

A recent report by global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky warned that global distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks tripled in the second quarter of 2020. The FBI also reported that its Cyber Division was receiving up to 4,000 complaints about cyber attacks per day, a 400% increase compared to pre-coronavirus times.

With companies scrambling to adapt and adopt new ways of doing business, and more people working from home, the number of opportunities available to cybercriminals has risen.

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At CyberScotland Week, resources will be available not only to educate businesses in identifying such attacks but also to outline how they can manage the risks accordingly.

The previous CyberScotland festival saw 70 events held over the course of the week – by adding virtual sessions for the first time, the 2021 event aims to bring in more people than ever before.

Events and workshops over the week-long event will utilise secure video conferencing technology, and innovative ideas to make events engaging will be a key component of the agenda.

With various conferences, workshops and webinars going digital, the event will target a wider audience from across the length and breadth of Scotland.

Sessions will explore the challenges within a fast-changing threat landscape and the innovation that has come about as a result. The 2021 agenda is still being set, with further sessions to be confirmed via the website.

Public Finance Minister Ben Macpherson said: “Cybercriminals pose a significant risk to businesses, organisations and individuals, and we all have a part to play in making Scotland more and more digitally resilient.

“CyberScotland Week is now a landmark date in Scotland’s cyber calendar and a source of valuable advice and information about how to stay safe online and keep your data secure. This is even more important as we spend more time online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is also an opportunity for Scotland’s rapidly growing tech sector and world-class universities to showcase their expertise, innovation and latest products.”

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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