Scottish Cyber Awards finalists announced by Edinburgh PR agency

by Chris Fairbairn

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Ethical Hackers SBRC

SCOTTISH firms and organisations at the forefront in the battle against cyber crime are to be recognised – as the finalists are announced for the inaugural Scottish Cyber Awards.

With the nominees spanning business, academia and the public sector, the expanding – and increasingly vital – industry cyber security industry will congregate on November 16th at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Edinburgh, where the overall winners will be announced.

Edinburgh’s Napier University received the highest number of nominations, with a chance to win in four categories. While banks and other household businesses are among the nominees, there is a strong showing for SME’s, reflecting the diversity and strength of the industry in Scotland.

The important advancement of female expertise is also being recognised in the ‘Outstanding Woman in Cyber’ category, with further finalists still to be announced in the ‘International Contribution’ award.

Chief Executive of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Mandy Haeburn-Little, is delighted to have had such strong interest in the very first year of the awards.

Mandy said: “We set out from day one to ensure the awards mirrored the industry in Scotland – with excellent work taking place at major organisations, by individuals in the education sector, as well as within Scotland’s many fast-moving smaller firms.

“Scotland has a proud history of innovation and we are making great strides to continue this tradition by becoming an international leader in cyber resilience – and to seize the opportunities that being at the forefront of cyber security can bring to our nation.

“The launch of the first Scottish Cyber Awards is a perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the great work that is happening in Scotland.

“We’d like to thank everyone that entered the awards, as well as all our partners who help to make it possible – and we can now look forward to the big night itself.”

Colin Slater, partner and cyber security lead in Scotland for award sponsor PwC Scotland said: “What’s encouraging to see here is the range of talents and skillsets on offer, showing that the growing cyber security sector in Scotland is rapidly maturing. It’s equally encouraging to see diversity being celebrated with three strong candidates up for the Outstanding Woman in Cyber award.

“The fact that we have such strong companies operating also suggests that cyber security is an issue businesses are now taking seriously – after all, the cyber companies can only operate in markets where there is commercial interest and customers – and again, this is a welcome thing.”

Cyber crime continues to be a massive concern in Scotland, costing an estimated £3bn every year. As the first awards to recognise Scotland’s ever-growing reputation as a world leader in countering the threat of cyber crime, the Scottish Cyber Awards will seek to showcase Scotland’s commitment towards the cyber security excellence and acknowledge the place Scotland has within this industry.

The winners will be decided by a panel of judges from across a number of different sectors. Each winner will receive one of the first specially designed trophies, which are destined to grow in stature over the years.

Scottish Enterprise (SE), Scotland’s main economic development agency, are supporting this event as part of their Cyber Security Network Integrator project. SE aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy by identifying and exploiting the best opportunities for economic growth.

The awards have been timed around the anniversary of the launch of the Scottish Government’s national Cyber Resilience Strategy, which enshrined the ambition that Scotland should become a lead nation for cyber resilience. The ceremony will also become a core part of an ongoing cyclical programme of cyber activity including an annual cyber conference and the well-established Christmas lectures for schools.

SBRC is taking forward the scoping of the concept of a cyber hub for business in Scotland which would act as one trusted source of advice and cyber security services at an affordable cost.

The full list of nominees for the awards:

Best Cyber Start Up

Symphonic Software
Cyan Forensics
Net defence

Best New Cyber Talent

Edinburgh Napier
Clydesdale Bank

Collaboration with Police Scotland

Perth and Kinross Council
Napier University

Cyber Evangelist of the Year

Edinburgh Napier
7 Elements

Leading Light Innovation

Net defence
Payfont / Edinburgh Napier
Law Society

Outstanding Woman in Cyber

Natalie Coull – Abertay University
Chelsea Sievewright – Prudential
Kirsty Mitchell – Digital Connections

SME Defender of the Year

7 Elements

Community Impact Award

Glasgow Caledonian University
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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