Jude McCorry

Jude McCorry

Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), is offering help and advice on cyber security as part of its sponsorship of the TechFest festival of STEM, which has moved online for the first time.

The organisation, which brings together the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, and the Scottish business community, is a respected leading voice in business resilience. Its goal is to make Scotland one of the safest and most resilient places to live, work, and do business, both on and offline.

SBRC operates across three areas to offer a range of services and education. Covering all aspects of business resilience and cyber security they are Community and Membership, Prevent and Protect, and Skills and Education.

With cyber-crime reportedly up by 31% during the height of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, statistics suggest that organisations, businesses and individuals were more vulnerable to malicious hackers because of increased activity online, and without the likes of internal IT managers and reliable systems.

Hackers are also preying on those who have been made unemployed or furloughed through scams such as fake job adverts.

As a result, being on top of your cyber security has never been more important.

Last month, SBRC launched Exercise in a Box, a free online tool, created by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which helps organisations find out how resilient they are to cyber-attacks through a series of exercises based on the main cyber threats. Participants can practice their responses and record their reactions to potential attacks, in a safe controlled environment.

Jude McCorry, SBRC chief executive said: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside TechFest once again, especially on this very special year when the festival is going digital.

“It seemed like a great fit to introduce audiences to our Exercise in a Box which has been launched at a time when more people are operating online at a time that they may be more vulnerable to hackers.

“Exercise in a Box will allow businesses and their workforces to review their existing cyber resilience policies – and for many will help to shape these – to ensure they are ready to handle and respond to an attack on their organisation.”

The programme, which is aimed largely at assisting small and medium-sized businesses, charities, local government and the emergency services, will be run by the SBRC’s cyber team, with the assistance of Police Scotland and other stakeholders. It is available to any business and is completely free.

“We hope that through our sponsorship with TechFest, which this year will see a huge expansion in audiences from across Scotland, we’ll be able to engage with and support any business or organisation which needs to better understand their cyber security,” said Jude.

“This might include IT managers, as well as those dealing with any form of data on a day-today basis, including those in sales and marketing. For any organisation, practising their response to a cyber-attack is key to reducing the chances of falling victim, and Exercise in a Box allows them to do that in a fun and informative way.”

The annual festival is aiming to be the biggest and most ambitious digital science festival in Scotland this year.

With an exciting and eclectic mix of more than 30 events taking place over a three-week period, the festival will have two main strands - the traditional public programme and a programme for schools.

Supported by joint principal sponsors bp and Shell and also sponsored by Equinor, Ithaca Energy, SBRC, The Data Lab and supported by RockRose Energy, the celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) usually runs for three weeks in September, with events taking place in venues across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

This year, rather than cancel the festival due to current events, organisers not only decided to go ahead with a 2020 event but to make it wider ranging than ever before.

The mix will include both live and pre-recorded events delivered via Zoom, Facebook, LinkedIn and through interactive activities.

Live events in the public programme of afternoon, evening and weekend sessions include talks on deep sea genetics and marine plastic pollution, human evolution according to brain size, sleep management and the development of good sleep habits. There is even a session on RAF Air Cadets and links to STEM learning.

A schools programme will bring science-based activities directly into the classroom with a variety of activities, video conferences, talks, and virtual events with partners including Edinburgh Zoo, the RAF and the Red Cross in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland TechFest’s new programme collaborator.

The highly popular family days will also return in digital format, jam packed with fun and STEM-inspired activities which the whole family can enjoy.

Exercise in a Box takes place throughout November. For more information: https://www.sbrcentre.co.uk/prevent-protect/cyber-services/exercise-in-a-box.