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Scotland’s leading organisation for building cyber resilience, the Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, is encouraging SMEs and charities with limited IT resource to make use of the Centre’s Cyber Advance service.

The Cyber Advance service combines two key elements to guide organisations through the process of building their digital resilience. To begin with, organisations receive a Vulnerability Assessment, which reviews their information systems, identifying weaknesses, evaluating their severity levels and recommending actions to mitigate them. This process alone can cost up to £50k, so by making use of the centre’s team of ethical hackers, SMEs and charities can receive an expert evaluation of the weaknesses of their systems at an affordable cost.

Comprehensive cyber training then educates organisations and their teams on the importance of following proper procedures for avoiding cybercrime and fraud, helping to ensure the integrity of their data.

Charities often hold particularly sensitive data which they are obligated to protect, but many third-sector organisations do not have the funds to spend on technical expertise and services, putting them in a vulnerable position.

Through the Cyber Advance programme Street Soccer Scotland, a charity which provides football-themed opportunities to disadvantaged groups, was able to access affordable expert advice, as well as their first-ever and much-needed vulnerability assessment. Completing Cyber Advance has also allowed Street Soccer to establish a solid long-term relationship with the Centre, which has enabled access to its valuable resources and ongoing support as needed.

Cameron Black, Central Operations Manager at Street Soccer Scotland, said: “The Cyber Advance service has been invaluable to us as an organisation. Due to the nature of the services we provide, the security of our data is of the utmost importance, and we found that a member of the Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland team was always on hand to reassure us and answer our questions. Thanks to the clear, concise recommendations that we received we were able to put our learnings into action quickly, and we have really benefitted from the expertise that the Cyber and Fraud Centre have shared with us”.

Jude McCorry, CEO of the Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, said: “We know that for many SMEs and charities looking to improve their cyber security, it can be difficult to know where to start. The Cyber Advance packages up several services into one, while accounting for individual organisations’ size, existing staffing knowledge and financial constraints. With this service, we’ve developed an opportunity for organisations to access expert insight at an affordable cost. With businesses of all sizes at risk of cybercrime and fraud, Cyber Advance provides a means to identify risks in existing cyber plans and mitigate them before they become a problem”.

Organisations can find out more about the Cyber Advance service and how to access it at