The inaugural Scottish Cyber Awards have taken place and the successful ceremony has seen an Edinburgh firm land the award for International Contribution to Cyber Security. Edinburgh-headquartered ZoneFox were announced as the winners in the category after also scooping the Champion of Champions award. Speaking at the ceremony, James Graves, Chief Executive of ZoneFox, believes it is an honour to have received such prestigious new awards.
He said: “It was a great night for the industry and everyone in the room, not just the winners. We absolutely loved it and it was a real opportunity to discuss with fellow professionals and get out there to show what we have achieved.
“It’s been a cracking year so far for us, having grown significantly abroad, especially in the United States and both award wins were really the icing on the cake.
James added: “The whole night was completely motivational for our team and has given us further drive to repeat our success and keep the momentum going.”
The awards, hosted by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre and supported by Scottish Enterprise and PwC, set out to mirror the excellent work of the IT sector in Scotland – with ground-breaking work taking place at major organisations, by individuals in the education sector, as well as within Scotland’s many fast-moving smaller firms.
Chief Executive of the SBRC, Mandy Haeburn-Little, was thrilled with the ceremony and the buzz around the awards.
She said: “The night was a superb showcase of talent in what is a growing and increasingly vital part of the Scottish economy as the threat of cyber crime impacts every single person.
“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 was a perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the great work that is happening in Scotland.
“We’d like to thank everyone that entered and attended the awards and made it the success it was. We hope it’s the start of something special for years to come.”
The event, which enjoyed huge interest and demand and benefitted from a packed attendance, was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Edinburgh, with other categories including: ‘Outstanding Woman in Cyber’, ‘Community Impact Award’ and ‘Cyber Teacher of the Year.’
Colin Slater, partner and cyber security lead in Scotland for award sponsor PwC Scotland, said: "Firstly congratulations to all the winners. There's been an incredibly strong body of work put across not only by the finalists but all of the entrants. It's reassuring that while cyber security may be a nascent sector in Scotland, it has a strong bedrock to build from in the future. That's comforting, not only as someone with a passion for the field but also as someone who uses digital services and has concerns about the risks and security of these services.
"We need people like the entrants not only to raise the standard for those who follow but to be the ambassadors, encouraging interest and adoption at all levels - from the average person in the street to the C suite. Cyber security is only as good as its weakest point and together we can make that weakest point a tougher nut to crack.
"Scotland can show the way in cyber security and organisations like Scottish Enterprise and the SBRC are to be praised for their efforts in not only raising awareness but also in what they are doing to offer solutions to those out there. This event is just one part of how Scotland can continue to shine a light in this field to help others across the globe."
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.
Scottish Enterprise (SE), Scotland's main economic development agency, were 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.
Kim Robertson, Project Manager for Sector Delivery at SE said: “Cyber crime continues to be a massive concern in Scotland - costing an estimated £3b per year – and its importance is reflected in the Scottish Government’s national Cyber Resilience Strategy which was launched this time last year. “
“Well done to all the superb winners and impressive nominees - their track record in innovation demonstrates Scotland’s position as a leader in cyber resilience technology. Scottish Enterprise is proud to have supported this event - it is significant, not just because of the pivotal role that cyber resilience plays in the security and health of all businesses, across all sectors, but also because of Scotland’s role at the forefront of cyber technology.”
The awards were 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.