Cyber Security Trailblazers Recognised at Major Awards Ceremony

by Chris Fairbairn

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

THE GREAT and the good of one of Scotland’s fastest growing industries gathered last night at the country’s largest ever awards ceremony to recognise the cyber security sector.

The hugely successful Scottish Cyber Awards, hosted by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) is now in its third year and the night attracted more than 340 of the sector’s leaders across business, law-enforcement and academia.


A strong theme of developing future talent shone through, with many of the winners of the night comprising students, academics and University teams – including big wins for Edinburgh Napier University and St Andrews University, at the sold-out event at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand.


The ultimate Champion of Champions was won by Cyber Christmas Lectures, a volunteer-run programme founded in 2012 that will this year see the team visit six locations across Scotland talking to more than 2500 pupils and teachers.


The prestigious Outstanding Woman in Cyber was awarded to three pupils at St Kentigern’s Academy in West Lothian. Catherine Fitzsimons, Amina Tahir and Rachel Cooper, who comprise Turing’s Testers have recently set up a nation-wide cyber treasure hunt to engage more schoolgirls with data science.


In his keynote speech, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay MSP, highlighted an industry that is playing a critical role protecting the country economically and socially.


He said: “The Scottish Cyber Awards acts as a showcase for Scotland’s leading talent in cyber security and innovation, which is a growing and increasingly vital part of the Scottish economy.

“Congratulations to all nominees who are at the forefront of protecting and educating the people of Scotland against cyber threats.”

The Scottish Cyber Awards featured a speech by Derek Mackay, Finance Secretary, captured in a tech PR photo by Edinburgh agency, Holyrood PR

The sector was also celebrating the recent confirmation of the creation of a ground-breaking £11.7million cyber security hub in Dundee – part of the Tay Cities Deal signed last week and a project that will be a further boost for jobs and academic innovation.


Speaking on the night, Mandy Haeburn-Little, Chief Executive of the SBRC, said: “What a real game changer Scotland is becoming in cyber security. The calibre and ambition shown in these awards confirms categorically that Scotland is on the map of cyber security.


“This year has been one of phenomenal growth and has included everything from the launch of the Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Strategy Action Plans, to an incremental rise in the value and growth of new tech businesses and start-ups through to the announcement of the Tay City Cyber Quarter deal announced just last Friday valued at £11.7 million for Scotland.


“Scotland really does have the potential to become a global leader for cyber security – and so much of that is thanks to the talent in the room tonight.


“What is needed is vision, a commitment to excellence and ultimately passion – whether that be the teacher inspiring the student or the business leader fostering innovation with their team.


“That is what tonight is all about. It is a huge thank you to those people bringing such positivity and creating excitement and hope for the future.”


Other winners included the first ever award voted for by the public, Best Customer Experience, which was won by Seric Systems.


Also celebrating were; Cyan Forensics (Best Cyber Start-Up), Quorum Cyber (Best Cyber Breakthrough), ID Cyber Solutions (Collaboration with Police Scotland), CyberShell Solutions (Leading Light Innovation), Police Scotland Cybercrime Prevention Team (Outstanding Cyber Team joint winners alongside St Andrews University IT Security Team).


The awards have also been backed by global sponsors, with this year’s headline support from CGI, alongside other key partners, Clydesdale Bank, Symantec, Accenture and Trend Micro.


Richard Holmes, Vice President Cyber Security Services for CGI and Scottish Cyber Awards judge, said: “It was an excellent evening which celebrated the hard work and expertise of both individuals and organisations. I thoroughly enjoyed the judging process and seeing the diversity of entries.


“As an organisation where cyber security is a part of everything we do, CGI was delighted to be able to support this year’s event.”


The Scottish Cyber Awards was held on Wednesday 28 November at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh.


For more information on the Scottish Cyber Awards 2018 visit


The full list of winners from the night:


Best Cyber Start-Up

Cyan Forensics


Best New Cyber Talent

Peter Aaby – Edinburgh Napier University


Best Cyber Breakthrough

Quorum Cyber


Collaboration with Police Scotland

ID Cyber Solutions


Cyber Evangelist of the Year

Harry McLaren – ECS Security


Cyber Security Teacher of the Year

Scott Hunter – Kyle Academy


Outstanding Woman in Cyber

Catherine Fitzsimons, Amina Tahir and Rachel Cooper (Turing’s Testers) – St. Kentigerns Academy


Leading Light Innovation

CyberShell Solutions


Best Cyber Education Programme

Cyber Christmas Lectures


Outstanding Cyber Team

University of St Andrews IT Security Team – University of St Andrews (JOINT)

Police Scotland Cybercrime Prevention Team – Police Scotland (JOINT)


Best Customer Experience (Public Vote)

Seric Systems


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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood PR. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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