Reflections of a Cyber Resilience Co-ordinator, aged 6.5 weeks!

By Alison Stone (Third Sector Cyber Resilience Coordinator, Scottish Business Resilience Centre) on 4th Sep 2019

“That job description sounds like a challenge – I fancy that!” I can’t believe it is three months since I uttered those words and a mere one and a half months since the challenge became mine.

My name is Alison Stone and I am the newly appointed Cyber Resilience co-ordinator at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). My job, in a nutshell, is to provide support, guidance, signposting, help and advice to voluntary and community organisations to assist them in becoming more cyber aware and resilient. It’s a pretty big nutshell and a challenge that I am relishing.

Since joining SCVO, I have spent what feels like a huge amount of time trying to get to grips with the landscape of support for cyber resilience available in Scotland. Whilst getting my head around the jigsaw has been a complex piece of work, it is hugely reassuring to see just how much help and advice is available. From the provision of aNational Cyber Security Strategy by the UK Government to the Action Plans written by the Scottish Government, it is a well thought through and strategically focused arena.

Resources provided by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) are plentiful and broad – from a Board Toolkit which helps get the subject of cyber resilience into the minds of the trustees and onto the risk register; to Exercise in a Box, a scenario-based training module, and the amazing Decisions and Disruptions Game – a tool produced by Lancaster University to stimulate discussion and decision-making around improving cyber resilience in Lego format (and who doesn’t like playing with Lego!?)

Our own Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Unit have some great resources available for organisations to use – the staff training guide has some excellent examples of exercises that can be used to raise awareness. A review of your own digital footprint is a scary thing and, using the guidance provided in the toolkit, I quickly became aware that I was maybe over-sharing my personal life online! A sobering thought, and easily resolved when you have the knowledge.

The challenge ahead in my new role is not inconsiderable, however, I am reassured from my investigations to date, that I have great support and resources available to help me fulfil my job description. The cyber landscape is complex and fast-moving, but I have confidence that we have a great support eco-system here in the UK, Scotland and the voluntary sector.

I look forward to spreading the news!