'Unique' project

New Scottish centre aims to boost cyber defences

Hackers pose a threat to all organisations

Scotland’s ability to prevent and respond to growing threats posed by hackers has been strengthened with the creation of a Cyber Co-ordination Centre (SC3).

The centre, backed by £1.5m from the Scottish government, will share intelligence, provide early warning of cyber threat and attacks, manage incidents and lead recovery.

Recruitment for a head of the centre is already under way, with SC3 to be formally launched later this year.

SC3 was announced ahead of the start of CyberScotland Week which will feature more than 100 events and activities across Scotland, focusing on building the cyber resilience of individuals, businesses and organisations.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “At times of heightened international tension, it is more important than ever to ensure that Scotland is ready to defend itself against cyber attacks. 

“Sustaining and increasing Scotland’s cyber resilience requires us to continue harnessing the power of working in partnership, and stepping it up at all levels.

“Establishing a new dedicated cyber co-ordination centre is a bold and ambitious development for Scotland.

“By providing a central coordination function that pools expertise from across a number of existing or developing Centres of Excellence, we can maximise our ability to work together to address cyber threats and attacks – whether that is sharing intelligence, providing early warnings, managing incidents or leading recovery.

“During CyberScotland week, I would urge individuals, businesses and organisations across Scotland to reflect on what they can do to keep themselves and others safe from emerging threats. The National Cyber Security Centre has trustworthy and up-to-the minute guidance on keeping safe and secure online.”

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SC3 will be globally unique, providing a central coordination function that pools expertise from across a number of existing or developing Centres of Excellence (CoE).

These include the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Scottish Government, Police Scotland, NSS (Health), the Digital Office (local authorities), HEFESTIS (Higher Education). It will also work closely with the cyber security industry to support its ambitions.

The SC3 will have a primary focus on the public sector initially, and in its first year, will look at how Scotland can manage threat and vulnerability at scale; how to build the cyber security capabilities of the public sector and how responses to incidents can be more rapidly identified, managed and investigated.

Including the Head of Centre post, it is expected that there will be nine dedicated members of staff recruited during year one. In the first instance, staff will be located within the Scottish Government.

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