In the face of rising cyber threats towards businesses and charities, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) has launched the UK’s first cyber incident response helpline for the SME community.
Launched in partnership with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland, the new initiative will help victims of cybercrime access advice and support to aid recovery.
Since Covid-19 restrictions came into force in March, many organisations have dealt with an increased dependence on technology to support both remote working and to take their businesses online.
SBRC said this rapid shift has placed unprecedented demands on their cyber defences and has resulted in a corresponding rise in cyber incidences for businesses, either through deliberate targeting by cybercriminals or accidental events with unintended consequences.
Jude McCorry, SBRC CEO, said: “Now more than ever, businesses need to ensure the security of their operations. Through webinars and other outreach programmes, we have worked hard to help organisations understand the importance of cybersecurity.
“This helpline is the next step towards ensuring businesses get the help they need to recover from cyber incidents with limited impact on their operations and customers. With our cadre of security experts and expertise across a range of industries, the SBRC is uniquely placed to help Scottish businesses understand, contain, and recover from cyber-attacks.”
The free helpline will help organisations confirm they have been the victim of an attack and, if so, provide expert guidance to get them back to secure operations.
Organisations that are concerned about security in general can also get in touch to confirm they have the right processes in place.
Mark Cunningham-Dickie, SBRC’s newly-appointed Cyber Incident and Response Manager, will manage the helpline and serve as callers’ first point of contact, filtering calls to other security experts as required.
He said: “There are many ways a business can experience a security incident, with different levels of complexity. Whether a cyber incident occurs through deliberate targeting or human error, the end result is the same: a disruptive effect on business operations.”
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Commenting on the partnership, DCC Malcolm Graham added: “Scottish businesses are facing a myriad of challenges this year. We expect the number of cyber-attacks to continue to rise as criminals take advantage of businesses relying on technology.
“We are keen to do our part in ensuring Scottish businesses survive this pandemic. I urge anyone with even slight concerns about their organisation’s IT security to call the SBRC and if they think there is criminal activity to report the crime to Police Scotland.”