Cybersecurity community champions have been honoured in a virtual ceremony as a CyberScotland Week draws to a close.

Five awards were given to individuals and organisations from across education and the public, private and third sectors as recognition for their dedication to promoting cybersecurity skills in Scotland.

Organised by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), and hosted by comedian Fred MacAulay, the awards were established to celebrate the contribution of individuals and organisations who keep Scotland’s online community safe.

From mentors to educators, the inaugural awards have marked a moment to recognise those sharing how small changes can make a huge difference to the safety of people online – particularly at a time when so much discussion around cybersecurity focuses on the negative impact, the SBRC said.

The Awards went to:

Award CategoryWinner
SBRC Student Community ChampionAllan Goodwill, Abertay University
SBRC Outstanding Cyber Community EventGetting it Right… Keeping Your Child Safe – Perth and Kinross Council, Education and Children’s Services
SBRC Cyber Community HeroAnnabel Turner, CyberSafe Scotland

Speaking about Allan’s win, judges said: “Allan’s clear passion for cybersecurity shone through. We were impressed with the involvement Allan has in programmes such as ‘TryHackMe’ and the ‘Capture the Flag’ (CTF) challenges, tackling serious issues through gamification and a creative approach. He has become a mentor for many in cybersecurity – not only within Abertay University where he studies, also through his involvement in wider events like Security-Tay2020 (Europe’s largest student-run cyber security conference). Allan is always willing to go the extra mile and has made a massive difference to many students at Abertay.”

On ‘Getting it Right…Keeping Your Child Safe’, judges added: “Making online programmes for parents engaging can be a difficult task. However, this event series established by Perth and Kinross Council, Education and Children’s Services positively impacted parents and professionals across the local region, sharing knowledge and practical advice to empower them to become more cyber resilient and to help keep homes and communities safer from the risks that exist online. We were impressed with the amount of people that attended the events in addition to the high calibre of speakers that contributed.”

Speaking about Annabel, judges said: “Annabel’s contribution to increasing online safety has been significant. We commend her for the work she has done to support schools from every learning cluster in Aberdeen as well as the huge success in using Facebook Live to reach parents. All the work that Annabel has led has resulted in positive and meaningful parental engagement around online safety at such an important time. Overall, Annabel’s work is profound and she’s one of the first in Scotland to provide advanced cyber advisory for children, working for the public good.”

In addition to the main categories, two special awards went to:

Special Recognition Award
  • Gordon Mcdonald, Police Scotland
SBRC ‘Shine the Light’ Awards
  • Alison Stone, SCVO
  • Beverly Bowles, Police Scotland
  • Jana Vidis, IFB
  • Michael McCullagh, Police Scotland Robbie Ross, Converged Communication

Commenting on Police Constable Gordon Macdonald Special Recognition Award, judges said: “PC Macdonald has shown incredible initiative when it comes to keeping people safe online in his constabulary. While passionate about the area of cyber security for several years, in the last year alone, PC Macdonald has worked hard to create cultures and processes to engage a wide set of stakeholders. From engaging with primary school parents to leading online webinars and distributing Cybercrime Harm Prevention alerts, it was clear from those who nominated him that he has gone above and beyond the line of duty. Our congratulations are extended to him.”

The SBRC ‘Shine the Light’ Awards were given to the following individuals for:

Alison Stone, SCVO Cyber Resilience Co-Ordinator – As part of the cyber bulletin team, Alison has brought a voice to the third sector community. Additionally, she has been part of the delivery team for the third sector Cyber Essentials grant which has led to hundreds of charities achieving this cyber security standard (250 organisations) making them better protected against cyber crime.

Beverly Bowles, Police Scotland – Has delivered numerous presentations across Scotland to a range of audiences from school groups, charities and businesses sharing important key messages to stay secure online. In addition to supporting colleagues and stakeholders to share information to help keep people safe online, she has also been involved in the cyber bulletin team.

Jana Vidis, IFB – For raising the profile of cyber with organisations in Aberdeen, in particular her support of the SBRC Exercise in a Box programme in Aberdeen.

Michael McCullagh, Police Scotland – Michael’s contribution to the Scottish cyber community has been outstanding. Working within Police Scotland’s cybercrime unit Michael has been pivotal in assisting companies who have experienced an attack.

Robbie Ross, Converged Communication Solutions – For spreading the message around the importance of cyber security. He is constantly organising and speaking at events, doing what he can to help people expand their knowledge on cyber security. Jude McCorry, CEO of the SBRC, said: “Last night’s awards highlight that despite the challenges every one of us has faced over the last 12 months, there continues to be an incredible amount of good being done to elevate cyber education and awareness. With the programmes and contributions supporting a broad range of people – from young people and their parents to peers and other professionals – I take great pride in all that is being done to increase cyber resilience across Scotland.”