The importance of cyber security all over the UK has been highlighted again with the opening of the first full cyber security hub in Scotland.
NHS National Services Scotland are opening the centre at the University of Abertay in Dundee, which will provide 30 jobs occupied by security experts aiming to protect the NHS in Scotland from attacks.
Abertay was the first in the UK to be awarded Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education by the National Cyber Security Centre, making it the obvious choice for NHS Scotland.
While the NHS is not a commercial organisation, it still faces huge risks such as ransomware attacks, in which vital data might be withheld by criminals keen to extract money.
Speaking at the opening of the centre, Scotland office minister Iain Stewart emphasised it was not just the NHS needing cyber security services, commenting: “The growing use of online platforms, cloud computing and online shopping means cybersecurity is more important than ever.”
He added: “There were more than 400 cyberattacks in Scotland in 2020-21, and more than a million incidents of computer misuse are reported across the UK each year.”
Such attacks will not just target major public sector organisations like the NHS or large businesses. Every firm, large or small, will need to be wary of the dangers to it and have measures in place to defend against such attacks.
This includes companies operating in rural areas. IT Pro recently warned that many firms working in the rural economy tend to be complacent, believing their sectors are not a target and their small or medium size makes them a low priority for attacks.
As the article noted, however, such firms are still potentially vulnerable to attacks from malware, phishing and fraudulent payment demands.
It also observed that a lack of cyber skills and funding to update protection also made them more at risk and often easy targets for the crooks.