A former police officer has been appointed as incident response and threat intelligence manager at Scotland’s cybersecurity agency for business.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) appointed ex-cyber investigator Mike Smith to a new role tackling cyber threats, supporting organisations via its incident response helpline.

The retired cop will lead the agency’s growing cyber division as it revealed the free service – the first in the UK – has supported 100 businesses since launching in 2020.

Smith has more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement, having worked across various Police Scotland teams including School Links, Safer Communities, and Cyber Prevention – where he worked with the SBRC and other partners to drive the Cyber Essentials programme.

He said: “The collaboration spearheaded by the SBRC between the private sector, Scottish Government, and other partners across public and third sectors is unprecedented and a clear testament to the importance of cross-sector support.

“I’m confident the experience I’ve gained in cyber policing, including handling incidents, managing enquiries, and forensic work will help me and my colleagues at SBRC better support businesses in the private sector.”

Jude McCorry, chief executive of SBRC, said: “Mike’s extensive experience on the policing side of cyber incidents will be a huge boon to our incident response team – who are well-versed in limiting the impact of a cyber attack.

“Having now assisted with 100 cyber incidents and counting, this felt like the perfect time to bring Mike in as Incident Response and Threat Intelligence Manager to lead the team and consider what more can be done to reduce cyber threats within organisations.

“Our ongoing close relationship with Police Scotland, alongside our helpline, executive education courses, and other outreach programmes, are just some of the ways we are working to ensure all Scottish organisations understand and combat the threat of cyber crime.”

The cyber incident response helpline was launched in October 2020 in response to a national rise in cyber attacks and is run by SBRC in partnership with Scottish Government and Police Scotland.

The team also works with a variety of “trusted” external companies around the country who can help in situations where an onsite expert is needed.

The helpline helps small and medium-sized firms that have been the victim of a cyberattack understand the support available to them and help them to quickly recover.

SBRC has also seen the line used by organisations who might have been concerned about their security get in touch to confirm they have the right processes in place.

Smith added: “Cybercrime is a crime like any other; organisations with even slight concerns about digital criminal activity should report the crime to Police Scotland on 101 as well as calling the SBRC’s incident response helpline for guidance about IT security.”

Businesses can reach the cyber incident helpline by calling 01786 437 472 weekdays 9am-5pm.

More information about the cyber incident helpline is available on SBRC’s website.