The annual festival dedicated to promoting online security kicked off on Monday with over 130 online events designed to spread awareness and knowledge of cybersecurity.

CyberScotland Week comes as risks from malicious online crime has risen starkly during Covid-19 as more and more organisations and individuals work remotely.

According to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a public-facing division of Britain’s famous listening post GCHQ, the agency has defended the UK from more than 700 cyber-attacks in the past year, of which a quarter were Covid related.

With 134 virtual events taking place across five days CyberScotland Week, which is in its third year, has doubled in size from last year’s programme and brings a host of world-renowned cyber experts will take to the virtual stage.

They will provide valuable insights across topics such as cyber protection, innovation and skills and careers, with events targeting a range of audiences from business to third sector and school pupils.

The sessions delivered by partners across industry, business, education and the third and public sectors aim to help make Scotland a more secure and resilient place to live and work.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, said: “The cyber security industry is an important contributor to our economic growth and CyberScotland Week is the perfect opportunity to showcase the innovative and exciting work that is happening across the sector.”

Ciara Mitchell, Head of Cyber at ScotlandIS, added: “We have been working hard behind the scenes to put together a fantastic online programme packed with celebrated speakers and relevant topics which will inspire and ultimately, help make Scotland safer online. Surpassing 130 events is an incredible achievement and shows the level of interest and expertise in cyber in Scotland and further highlights just how important cyber resilience is for individuals as well as organisations of all types.”

LeadScotland, Barclays, Forensic Analytics and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, are just some of the organisations taking part to share their expertise this year. The sessions include:

  • Online scams: how to spot them and what to do
  • How to successfully embed Cyber Security into your organisation’s culture
  • Your digital footprint: what does the internet know about you?
  • Remote auditing: do’s and don’ts

Keynote speakers at FutureScot’s Public Sector Cyber Resilience conference on Tuesday include Ciaran Martin, former CEO at the National Cyber Security Centre; Carol Peters, Cyber Security Architect at Renfrewshire Council; and Malcolm Graham, Deputy Chief Constable, Crime & Operational Support at Police Scotland.