Scotland beginning to Crack Opportunity to be the Global Cyber Leader

A LEADING figure in the cyber security sector believes Scotland has the potential to become the world leader in the industry.

Martin Beaton, one of the nation’s most influential cyber figures, believes that the country has all the factors required to become a standard-bearer for the critical industry.

On a business level over the past five years there has been a staggering 500% growth in the number of specialist cyber security firms in Scotland, from 12 in 2012 to 70 currently operating.

Those firms have been able to be part of £3 billion worth of investment to start up cyber security businesses – part of a £230 billion industry worldwide.

Highlighting the attraction to investors, every new Scottish cyber company in the past three years has received external investment.

Martin, whose role is to support collaboration between industry, academia and government said: “Scotland’s cyber security industry has everything in place to become the best in the world.

“The sector is rapidly growing and while other small nations such as Estonia and Israel arguably lead the way, Scotland has the potential – if we can get it right – to take over.

“What is key is our ability to collaborate. We are of a size that can foster this realistically – working together to keep the public, business and the public safe.

“For too long the only focus has – quite understandably – been on protecting assets. But now we have the potential to see this industry truly help drive the economy.”

The great and the good of this surging industry will descend on Edinburgh this week for the second Scottish Cyber Awards, which celebrate the success of the industry and have this year moved to a larger venue, such as its expanding nature.

This year’s Scottish Cyber Awards will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh on Wednesday November 17.

Following the success of last year’s awards, the awards have even more awards on offer and are being held at a far larger venue to cope with the increased demand.

Mandy Haeburn-Little, Chief Executive of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, said: “It’s brilliant to hear someone so close to the action such as Martin talk in such glowing terms about the potential of Scotland as a leading nation in cyber security.

“We are well aware of the success of the industry and its rapid growth. Its vitally important that we continue to develop the next wave of cyber experts in our schools and universities and also make sure that Scotland remains a country where business can retain their talented graduates.

“The Scottish Cyber Awards ensure that we celebrate all the brilliant work that has gone on over the year while also acting as a vehicle for the greatest minds in the country to meet and share ideas.”

The Scottish Cyber Awards night has gained impressive backing, with lead sponsor PwC joined by key partners Zonefox and Symantec.

Among the 13 awards on the night are; Best Cyber Start Up, Best New Cyber Talent and Best Cyber Breakthrough.