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CYBER


Jude McCorry expects the Scottish Business Resilience Centre to be at the heart of Scotland’s cybersecurity expertise


Building a safe and resilient landscape


BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN


I catch up with Jude McCorry a few days after the third annual Cyber Scotland Week. With 120 events held virtually across seven days at the end of February, it’s been a busy – yet rewarding – period and the bar has been “set high” for 2022, she tells me. She’s still waiting on final numbers for delegates who attended the events – from conferences, to awards, webinars and instructional courses – but judging from the initial feedback, the expectation next year will be that, regardless of Covid restrictions being eased, an element of online delivery will be retained. “I think we should be doing


both. We’ve been able to reach out beyond the limits of the central belt, getting people to join from all over the country,” says McCorry, who runs the Scot- tish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), an organisation that works closely with police and government to make Scotland “one of the safest and most resil- ient places to live, work, and do business, both on and offline”. It’s a very broad remit, and McCorry – who joined the organisation as chief executive just before the pandemic – acknowledges that more work needs to be done on its core “purpose”.


“It’s got to be a one-stop-shop for cyber with up-to- date and relevant information that people can use”


Jude McCorry, Scottish Business Resilience Centre


26 | FUTURESCOT | SPRING 2021 Increasingly, that looks like


providing a much more obvi- ous posture as an organisation focused on providing expert cybersecurity advice and support to Scottish businesses. Tose who work in the sector are already aware of SBRC as a lynchpin in Scottish cyber, especially as an organisation that has helped sup- port and nurture “ethical hacker” graduates from Abertay Univer- sity, rated gold by the National Cy- ber Security Centre. But McCorry admits there is sometimes confu- sion among businesses, particu- larly SMEs, about the “cluttered landscape” in cybersecurity in Scotland, and there needs to be some reconfiguration.


One of the main developments of cyber week was the launch of the CyberScotland Partnership, which has been established with ten strategic organisations in Scotland who will provide a more unified front for anyone looking for help on the latest cybersecu- rity guidance. To that end, the new cyberscotland.com website will act as a single point of entry for anyone looking for trusted advice, information and train- ing on cyber, as well as incident response. “It’s not just a fancy website,


we’re going to have to make it work,” McCorry insists. “It’s got to


Paul Atkinson and Ciaran Martin, far right, have proved significant recent additions to the board of SBRC


be a one-stop-shop for cyber with up-to-date and relevant informa- tion that people can use, whether that’s for businesses wanting to access training and skills or helping graduates understand the cyber career pathways.” McCorry arrived at SBRC from


Te Data Lab, where she was head of business development and marketing, after a varied tech career that started off during the “Celtic Tiger” dotcom boom in her home country, Ireland, in the late 1990s. Finding her feet as a CEO in a new organisation was “not easy”, she reflects, but she has already managed to bring some fresh thinking and talent into the frame. Recent high-pro- file signings to her board include Ciaran Martin, founding chief executive of the NCSC, who now teaches at Oxford University, and entrepreneur and angel investor, Paul Atkinson, who was appoint- ed as chairman. Martin, who was awarded a Gold Foreign Partner- ship Medallion from the United


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