In my last blog I described how I had spent a large amount of my first few weeks trying to get to grips with the cyber support landscape here in Scotland. I am delighted to say that progress has been made and I now know my cyber catalyst network members from my NCSC resources – a relief for all of us, I am sure!

I now find myself about the embark on the launch of the next round of Cyber Grant Funding which is open for all third sector organisations on 4th November 2019. This funding is designed to assist organisations wanting to undertake Cyber Essentials accreditation. Cyber Essentials is like a MOT for your car – it confirms that your IT systems have passed a key set of technical standards which focus on improving your organisations’ protection against the most common types of cyber-attack.

This round of funding will be the fifth call of grants worth £1000 each, provided to the third sector as part of the Scottish Government supported scheme. Previous applicants have highlighted some of the benefits as..

  • Encouraging potential service users to trust the organisation
  • Ensure practice meets policy
  • Assist with compliance for future contract bids
  • Encourage staff toward updating record-keeping practices to digital

All of these, and more, are very valid reasons why your organisation should consider in applying for Cyber Essentials funding. Funding is now available and you can apply – and the scheme will remain open until 31st March 2020 (or until the money runs out!). Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis and awarded throughout this period.

I am really delighted to be involved with the management of this scheme. Cyber resilience is of vital importance to all charities and the attitude of “when, not if” should be adopted by all when thinking about cyber breaches. I would encourage any organisation considering improving the way they protect the data and security of their information to take advantage of this scheme.