Accenture launches global application security hub in Edinburgh


Accenture has chosen Scotland to locate a new global application security hub to combat the rising threat of cyber attacks on business and government. Te technology services and management

consultancy has opened an application security hub in Edinburgh as part of its growing world- wide network of centres to safeguard clients from cyber risk. Leveraging considerable local talent, and

with a global reach, the new facility is a compa- ny ‘first’ and represents a corporate step change

CYBER SECURITY SQA Young people set their sights on

Launched in 2015, a digital forensics and ‘ethical hacking’ course is proving a big hit with school pupils


Demand for places on introductory level courses in cybersecurity is ‘growing rapidly’, according to the national qualifications body. Scotland became the first

country in Europe to offer a school-based vocational quali- fication in cybersecurity three years ago after a call from govern- ment to plug a growing skills gap. And official figures now show

that since the introduction of the National Progression Award (NPA)

in schools, the rate of new learn- ers is virtually doubling each year. Since 2015, around 1,400 learn-

ers have undertaken the NPAs at various levels, up to Higher, figures to July 2018 show. Tere are currently 46 schools

nationwide and six colleges which offer the course to 15 and 16-year-old learners, and those figures are expected to grow “sig- nificantly” this year. In response to the level of inter-

est, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) introduced a


Higher National Certificate in Cy- ber Security earlier this year, and is currently developing a Higher National Diploma Cyber Security which it hopes to have available in 2019. Te courses have been devel-

oped by employers and sector specialists in a bid to encourage more young people into cyber- security careers, where industry surveys show starting wages for cybersecurity analysts fall between £25,000 to £35,000; in senior roles, cyber experts can be expected to earn up to and in excess of £70,000-a-year accord- ing to Prospects, the UK’s biggest graduate careers website. Bobby Elliott, Qualifications

Manager at SQA, said: “We really are seeing demand for cyber grow-

ing exponentially. At one college, they had run a HNC in Computing for years and had virtually no up- take; so they changed to an HNC in Cybersecurity and filled three classes in around a fortnight. “Scotland genuinely was the

first country in Europe to offer a cybersecurity qualification in schools and that is something we’re really proud of.” Cybersecurity skills are the

third most in demand digital skill in Scotland, according to the most recent Scottish Technology Industry survey. It also estimates that there

will be up to 2,120 unfilled cyber security-related job roles in Scot- land by 2020. Safe, Secure & Prosperous: A Cyber Resilience Strategy for

in addressing data loss, hacking and breaches. “Tis is a proud moment for Accenture in

Scotland,” said Bill McDonald, the company’s MD in Scotland. “We have a long history of helping clients with the most challenging problems of the day and the opening of the application security hub very much represents that next step in that journey.” He added: “Security is at the heart of what

many of our clients do – be they in the private or public sector; maintaining the integrity of clients’ data in this day and age is paramount to us as a business, and also crucial to our suc- cess moving forward. It is especially pleasing

that Edinburgh will be the location for this work – where our critical mass of financial sec- tor clients in the Central Belt, and deep talent pools at our local universities, make the city a natural choice for the venture.” Te centre will be headed up in Edinburgh by

Marshal Luusa, Accenture’s Application Security Lead; based on a ‘hub and spoke’ concept, the dedicated unit will draw on skills and knowledge from Accenture’s own ‘hunt’ facilities around the world, including in Prague, Riga and Israel. Crucially, it will also benefit from collaboration and co-innovation with ‘multilateral’ corporate partners, as well as leading Scottish universities, including Abertay and Edinburgh Napier, and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC). Industry partners Deep Secure, Palo Alto

Networks, Tales, Tanium and Micro Focus - as well as leading enterprise software vendors such as SAP and Oracle – will all work with Accenture on developing new and innovative ways of protecting companies from cyber risk. “When you look at what’s at the heart of

what we’re trying to protect – it’s data,” says Luusa. “Tat’s the crown jewels and that data is driven by applications; without applications you can’t really create identities, and without applications there’s not very much to effec- tively defend against. We feel that applications are at the core of everything businesses do and we’ve got to find a way to co-innovate more

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