Accenture’s newly-launched application security hub in Edinburgh will take the global lead on co-innovating new products to protect business and government clients from cyber risk

secure applications, especially for the growing and changing threat landscape.” Te centre will experiment and innovate

with emerging decentralised ledger technolo- gies (DLTs), such as Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence tools, which can automate and speed up cyber detection rates. According to Accenture’s 2018 State of Cyber

Resilience report, targeted attacks on com- panies have more than doubled in the space of a year with 232 on average experienced by

organisations this year compared with 106 in 2017. However, actual breaches are going down as more organisations embed cyber se- curity within corporate heirarchies: according to the report, one in eight focused cyber at- tacks got through in 2018, compared with one in three the previous year. Tere is still much to be done, though, as the report showed that 7,000 clients worldwide reported, on average, experiencing 32 cyber attacks last year. McDonald added: “Te effects of this on

clients can vary from virtually shutting down operations to reputational damage, particu- larly in consumer-facing businesses where any data breach carries the risk of loss of confi- dence and negative publicity. “Accenture believes it has a duty to protect

clients from these risks and so I’m delighted to be launching this new facility in Edinburgh.” l

Visit to read Accenture’s 2018 State of Cyber Resilience report

a career in cybersecurity

Scotland, published in 2015, put a clear emphasis on ensuring there was a “skills pipeline” into the cybersecurity industry. Tat was why the NPA was

developed, says Elliott, and it was part of a bigger objective to ensure “every child, young person and adult must have the cyber resil- ience skills for learning, life and work.” It appears to be having an effect and while no formal analysis has taken place, Elliott says there are reliable anecdotal accounts from colleges and universities that the NPA is helping to boost takeup levels on Further Education and Higher Education courses. Te NPA – which teaches data

security, digital forensics and ethical hacking - is available over- whelmingly in state schools, but

“Scotland genuinely was the first country in Europe to offer a cybersecurity qualification in schools and that is something we’re really proud of”

there has also been strong interest from private schools, which is unusual for a vocational qualifica- tion, Elliott adds. Initially there was some opposition to the inclu- sion of ‘hacking’ as a formal edu- cation concept for young people, but that has swiftly been overcome with the wider realisation that hacking can be as much about defence as offensive capabilities. Although the course is hugely popular, and Elliott expects to see around 4-5,000 learners progress- ing through the NPA within the next three years, there are still big national challenges to be solved. Te gender imbalance is par-

ticularly acute in computer sci- ence and cybersecurity especially, where Elliott says the current rate is around 90% boys to 10% girls.

FUTURESCOT | WINTER 2018 | 27 One school in Ayrshire, how-

ever, is breaking the glass ceiling with reports that it has achieved a 50% equal split between female and male pupils. Elliott singled out Scott Hunter, a computing science teacher from Kyle Acad- emy, for special praise and said that if his “outstanding” example can be replicated elsewhere then Scotland stands a good chance of not only achieving some degree of gender equality but in closing the skills gap, too. l

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