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SBRC Given Green Light to lead NCSC Cyber Programme in Scotland

Ross Kelly



Exercise in a Box clearly outlines the key considerations an organisation should address when preparing a response to a cyberattack.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) has won a tender from the Scottish Government to deliver the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) Exercise in a Box to businesses across Scotland.

Through the scheme, more than 250 organisations will be able to examine how resilient they are to cyberattacks and test their response in a safe environment.

Created by the NCSC, the Exercise in a Box toolkit provides a set of training tools to help businesses test their preparedness to the most common cyber attacks. The toolkit also enables firms to record their reaction to a potential attack and learn lessons from the sessions.

The nine-month programme will be run by the SBRC’s cyber team, with Police Scotland and other stakeholders providing vital assistance.

Organisations will be able to participate in the programme through a blended model of tabletop meetings and online sessions.

Commenting on the announcement, SBRC Chief Executive Jude McCorry said: “The stress that businesses are currently under has placed an incredible strain on their overall resilience.

“Hackers are very opportunistic and have not missed an opportunity to prey on those working remotely.”

McCorry added: “Businesses, therefore, cannot afford to skip a beat; Exercise in a Box will allow them to review their existing cyber resilience policies – and for many will help to shape these – to ensure they are ready to handle and respond to an attack on their organisation.”

The Exercise in a Box toolkit is aimed largely at assisting small and medium-sized businesses, charities, local government and the emergency services.

It is estimated that 65,000 cybersecurity attacks occur daily, and of these around 4,500 are successful. Recent data shows that cyberattacks have increased since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. As such, the SBRC said organisations must be ready and able to counter evolving threats.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy and Society Engagement, said: “It’s great that the SBRC will be delivering our free Exercise in a Box toolkit to many more organisations across Scotland.

“For any organisation, practising their response to a cyber attack is key to reducing the chances of falling victim, and Exercise in a Box allows them to do that in a fun and informative way.”


Deputy First Minister John Swinney added: “Despite constant improvements in technology, cybercrime rates show no signs of slowing. Criminals have no qualms in exploiting vulnerable people or situations and it is really important to prepare for the most common cyber attacks.

“The NCSC Exercise in a Box toolkit will help organisations in the public, private and third sectors ensure they are as resilient as possible.”

The SBRC said that it hopes to deliver some of the programmes in a face-to-face setting. However, due to Covid restrictions, some will be run online in a virtual capacity.

Taster sessions will be held for businesses to learn more about the Exercise in a box programme on 17th, 22nd and 24th September.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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