CYBER security consultations are being offered to all sizes of Scottish businesses directly involved in the Internet of Things (IoT) or looking to incorporate the technology into their existing services.

The IoT is a collection of devices connected to a network such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and includes “smart” appliances such as thermostats, lighting and security systems, smart speakers like Alexa or Amazon Echo, and wearable tech.

The initiative will be delivered by Censis – Scotland’s centre of excellence for sensing, imaging systems and IoT technologies – to help firms develop cyber-secure products and services as IoT use continues to expand.

Under the nine-month initiative, funded by Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government, Censis will provide successful companies with one-to-one consultations and give them guidance on best practice, legislation, manufacture and design.

Start-up firms and SMEs can also qualify for bespoke support including technical expertise to address specific aims or challenges.

Businesses taking part in the IoT Secure programme can also receive support with applications for other initiatives, such as grant funding and test and certification schemes, as well as introductions to potential partners for future collaborative research projects.

Working with Censis allows organisations to implement quality, efficiency and performance improvements and fast-track the development of new products and services for global markets. IoT Secure forms part of the wider IoT Cyber Challenge programme, which was launched at the Censis Technology Summit in November 2019.

This initiative aims to stimulate the creation of new, secure IoT products and services; activities in the programme have included tailored workshops and an SME accelerator challenge.

Cade Wells, business development manager and cyber security lead at Censis, said: “Cyber security and IoT development go hand-in-hand, and it’s essential that companies looking to develop new technologies, or introduce it to their workplaces, also consider the security of their systems.

“There is great potential for Scottish businesses of all sizes and stages to use IoT to boost processes and fuel growth and development, and our new programme is designed to help them realise that potential.”

He added: “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to cyber security and IoT, so we will work closely with chosen companies to develop a bespoke programme of support.

“Start-ups and early-stage companies are encouraged to apply, as they can also benefit from further support that goes beyond the initial consultation, helping to meet specific goals.”