SCOTTISH firms and organisations are to be recognised for their hard work in the battle against cyber-crime at the inaugural Scottish Cyber Awards, writes Janice Burns.

Finalists spanning the world of business, academia, the public sector and the ever-expanding cyber security industry have been shortlisted for the awards, which will take place on Wednesday November 16, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Edinburgh, where the overall winners for each category will be announced.

Edinburgh’s Napier University received the highest number of nominations, with a chance to win in four categories, while banks and other household businesses are among the nominees. There is a strong showing for SME’s, reflecting the diversity and strength of the industry in Scotland.

The important advancement of female expertise in the industry is also being recognised in the Outstanding Woman in Cyber category, with finalists still to be announced in the International Contribution award.

Scottish Business Resilience Centre chief executive Mandy Haeburn-Little said she was delighted to have had such strong interest in the first year of the awards.

She added: “We set out from day one to ensure the awards mirrored the industry in Scotland – with excellent work taking place at major organisations, by individuals in the education sector, as well as within Scotland’s many fast-moving smaller firms.

“Scotland has a proud history of innovation and we are making great strides to continue this tradition by becoming an international leader in cyber resilience, and to seize the opportunities that being at the forefront of cyber security can bring to our nation.

“The launch of the first Scottish Cyber Awards is a perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the great work that is happening in Scotland.

“We’d like to thank everyone that entered the awards, as well as all our partners who help to make it possible – and we can now look forward to the big night itself.”

Cyber-crime costs Scotland an estimated £3 billion every year, however, the country is fast becoming a world-leader in countering this major threat.

Colin Slater, partner and cyber security lead in Scotland for award sponsor PwC Scotland, said: “What’s encouraging to see here is the range of talents and skillsets, showing that the growing cyber security sector in Scotland is rapidly maturing.”