Companies warned over cyber security risk

A fast-growing Edinburgh-based fintech company aims to uncover key concerns around the 'evolving cyber threat landscape' in Scotland at an event on the sector being held in Glasgow this week.

ZoneFox founder and chief executive Jamie Graves says failure to protect sensitive information in the current business climate has serious consequences

The Future of Cyber Security Scotland Conference is taking place on Thursday and issues lined up for discussion include reducing risk and ensuring compliance, data breaches on the so-called “dark web” and encouraging a better gender balance in the industry.

Among speakers and panellists are Don Randall, former head of security and chief information security officer of the Bank of England, and Alisdair Matheson, partner at law firm Brodies.

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Also on the list is Stephen Budd, product manager specialising in data solutions at cyber security specialist ZoneFox, a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University.

The firm’s founder and chief executive Jamie Graves told Scotland on Sunday: “As a Scottish company, I am delighted that we are able to partner with the [conference] to share knowledge across the cyber community in Scotland and educate on the best strategies and technologies to identify threats and reduce risk.

“Failure to protect sensitive information in the current business climate has serious consequences – from reputational damage to huge financial loss, to the fallout for individuals that comes with the leak of their personal information.”

The firm will discuss whether Scotland is ready for general data protection regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in 2018 and will impose strict new rules on the way organisations collect, store and use personal data.

A recent study found that nearly half of UK firms were not ready for it coming into effect.

Graves added that with the forthcoming GDPR, “pressure has never been so high on organisations to safeguard their data and monitor its movement.

“As well as the increasing amount of state attacks and large organisations being breached, there have never been more attacks on businesses by cyber-criminals than we are seeing today, but, worryingly, knowledge and awareness about how to prevent such attacks is still very low.”

ZoneFox will present to delegates on the likes of “how user behaviour analytics and machine learning can highlight threats to an organisation before they turn into incidents”.

Police Scotland, one of the conference’s backers, said this month that there have been 34 ransomware attacks in Scotland in the past year, including 13 on NHS health boards on 13 May.

The conference’s organiser is OSP Security Professionals, which last year took the Global Security & Cyber summit to Aberdeen, where it was predicted that oil and gas and the NHS “were perfect targets for cyber hacks”.