FS Fives: Tuesday, July 5

Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.

First up we bring you news of an investigation we have carried out into the cyber vulnerabilities of the Scottish Government’s estate of websites. Following a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate, we have established that 90% of all emails it receives are unsolicited and often the vehicle for potentially malicious software

According to the FOI, emails are filtered externally first by the UK Public Services Network (PSN) virus checks and then by the Scottish Government’s own ‘industry standard software’, which checks for ‘potential spam’.

“As we estimate that makes up around 90% of all emails received,” the FOI reveals. “These mails are retained for only a short period and then discarded, which prevents relatively large amounts of unsolicited and occasionally risky mail reaching our users. This is a common business practice across all sectors. We do not examine these emails in further detail or hold information on their numbers – though we do monitor the overall size of storage space consumed.”

Emails and attachments are then checked for viruses or threats and are quarantined; a final filtration process probes for ‘potential issues covered by our email policies’. “The Scottish Government focuses its cyber resources on identifying and addressing high level cyber threats and gives this priority over gathering quantitative information,” the FOI revealed.

Second, news of a Glasgow tech firm helping to digitise 200 year-old parliamentary papers. Automated Document Services (Auto Docs) specialises in scanning and archiving historic documents and the firm is currently working to create the first-ever digitised collection of the 19th-century House of Lords parliamentary papers in a project organised, funded and led by global information services and technology firm, ProQuest, The House of Lords Library and The National Library of Scotland, reports the Herald. The firm will make use of its 10 specialist book scanners including three it purchased with the help of a five-figure funding package from Clydesdale Bank last year. It has grown from four to 20 staff after identifying a gap in the market for bound volume scanning within the heritage sector.

The Bank of Scotland recently became the 200th business to sign Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter. A programme of activity overseen by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is pushing digital participation up the agenda, and accelerating the work being led by charities and community groups across Scotland. A diverse range of organisations want to help people to get online and develop the basic digital skills required for modern life, said the SCVO.

A network of digital labels, audio visual programmes and interactive exhibits have been installed as part of the £14m upgrade of the National Museum of Scotland. Art, design, fashion, science and technology will be showcased in the new space at the museum in Edinburgh. More than 3,000 objects will be on display in the galleries, ranging from a bionic hand to ornate furniture. Around three-quarters of the artefacts have not been exhibited in over a generation.

And finally … returning to the theme of unsolicited email, Campaigns & Elections reports that Donald Trump’s team is having problems.