Most of us acknowledge that if we were robbed while walking down the street or if someone broke into our home, we’d be quick to report it to the police. We’d realise that we had been victims of a crime and would rightly expect support from those around us.

Yet cyber and fraud crime uniquely elicit feelings of guilt and shame in its victims, who often blame themselves for being deceived into parting with their money. When this happens in the workplace, an additional layer of stress and anxiety can be added as organisations scramble to recover funds and piece together how they ended up becoming the subjects of cybercrime.

Orkney-based charity Rousay, Egilsay & Wyre Development Trust experienced the manifold consequences of cybercrime first-hand last year, when they were targeted by scammers and defrauded out of a total of £120,000. The crime was reported to Police Scotland and continues to be investigated by specially trained officers, but the emotional and professional impact of the crime has had huge reverberations for the charity’s small team.

Stuart Williamson, Trust Manager at the Rousay, Egilsay & Wyre Development Trust, points out that cyber criminals are skilled at deceiving their targets and awareness around this can be limited. He illustrates how his organisation was the victim of a targeted attack by criminals who knew exactly what to say to persuade them to part with important details, with their conversational manner and accurate knowledge of the Trust’s transactions persuading the charity’s staff of their legitimacy.

In the Trust’s case the outcome was positive, with the organisation receiving a full refund from their bank, but the personal impact for their team has been immense, particularly on the individual who interacted directly with the fraudsters.

CyberScotland Week partners have come together to provide a wide range of resources to offer people in situations like Stuart’s. This includes signposting charities, businesses and other affected organisations towards crucial resources in the aftermath of an attack and giving timely, informed advice on next steps. The Cyber and Fraud Centre in collaboration with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland, an Incident Response Helpline which provides expert guidance to help businesses resume operations as swiftly as possible, as well as pointing them towards our trusted partners who can help organisations get back on their feet in practical ways.

Of course, prevention is always better than mitigation, and CyberScotland also offer a range of services to support businesses to solidify their cyber security systems and avoid becoming targets of an attack in the first place. This CyberScotland Week, partners are uniting to host a range of events aimed at helping organisations to educate themselves about cyber security and strengthen their cyber infrastructure. These range from Police Scotland’s Cyber Security Awareness Conference, which will give invited guests an insight into cybercrime from a policing perspective as well as guidance and advice, while the Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, alongside trusted partner Consider IT, will take cyber security on the road to inform public and third sector organisations about crucial practices. ScotlandIS and SCVO are teaming up to present a full-day conference designed exclusively for third sector organisations, aiming to strengthen their cyber resilience. Meanwhile, the Scottish Social Services Council is organising an in-person event at the Abertay cyberQuarter, providing professionals in the sector with the opportunity to discover available support and guidance.

We recognise how traumatic cybercrime can be for its victims, and so we always encourage those affected to seek emotional support as well as practical. Stats and figures can never represent the full extent of cybercrime and its impact, particularly as cybercrime is often underreported, but by spreading awareness around the sophistication of cybercrime we hope to reduce the stigma around falling victim to it – and help organisations bounce back stronger and better-equipped for the future.

To see a full list of CyberScotland Week events, visit the website –