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Scotland’s leading organisation for building resilience against cybercrime and fraud has warned businesses that they must have a plan in place to counter attacks, as it adds two legal firms and four new IT and security firms to its cadre in response to growing cyber security threats.  

The Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland’s Incident Response Cadre is formed of a trusted network of IT and specialist cyber security service providers alongside the two new legal practices, Burness Paull and Anderson Strathern. Companies who have recently experienced a cyber-attack are referred to the cadre to receive immediate expert advice and assistance.   The law firms, which operate across Scotland, will help companies affected by cybercrime negotiate the legal reverberations. The four new IT and security firms are Closed Door Security, Cloud Cover IT, Consider IT and Silver Cloud, who join existing partners Tech Force Cyber and Sapphire.

From left to right: Mike Smith (Cyber and Fraud Centre), Douglas McLachan (Anderson Strathern), Kevin Robertson (Silver Cloud), Janka Hudak (Cyber and Fraud Centre), Jim Murray (Cloud Cover IT), Lance Gauld (Cloud Cover IT), Andy Maclaren (Consider IT), Colin Hulme (Burness Paull), Stuart Gilbertson (Consider IT), Jude McCorry (Cyber and Fraud Centre) and Jai Aenugu (Tech Force Cyber).

Douglas McLachlan, who leads Anderson Strathern’s Data & Technology team and is certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in Cyber Security, said: “My team has seen first-hand how cybercrime is becoming more regular, and criminals more technologically savvy, and through joining Cyber and Fraud Centre’s Incident Response Cadre, we will be able to help even more organisations deal with the aftermath of these incidents. 

“As members of the Centre’s Incident Response Cadre, we will be able to provide a lifeline to those needing immediate legal guidance, as well as a clear assessment of the extent of the breach, help with mitigating the impact on not just the business but to suppliers and customers as well as helping businesses and individuals to minimise potential legal liabilities, such as Information Commissioner fines or the risk of litigation”. 

Hazel Moffatt, Partner at Burness Paull, added: “Data breaches and cyber-attacks are increasing in frequency and scale and should be high on the risk register of all Scottish organisations. As part of the Cyber Fraud Centre Incident Response Cadre, Burness Paull stands ready to provide practical and tailored legal advice, using our extensive experience to support organisations in responding to and mitigating the effects of cyber security incidents”.

From left to right: Douglas McLachlan (Anderson Strathern), Jude McCorry (Cyber and Fraud Centre), Colin Hulme (Burness Paull).

The Incident Response helpline, run by the Centre in conjunction with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland and aimed at helping SMEs and the third sector to access resources after a cyber-attack, last week reached a record 300 calls since its inception in 2020, reflecting the regularity with which businesses are finding themselves victims of an attack. To manage the effects of such an event, the Centre has urged organisations to avoid complacency by ensuring that they have a reliable Incident Response Plan in place and testing it regularly, as well as knowing where to access useful resources. 

Jude McCorry, CEO of Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland, said: “As levels of cybercrime and fraud in Scotland reach new heights, it has never been more important for organisations to prepare for the possibility of being targeted. We provide a variety of resources to assist after a cyber-attack, including the provision of the Incident Response helpline, and the addition of two legal firms and four IT and security firms to our dedicated cadre will help us to extend our support even further. However, organisations must also ensure that they are equipped to respond immediately to cybercrime – having a well-tested plan in place is the most effective way to do this. We would encourage organisations to have an incident response partner in place as part of their incident response plan. All of our partners are happy to have that conversation and assist companies now rather than waiting for an attack to happen.”

 In collaboration with CyberScotland, the Cyber and Fraud Centre has developed a Cyber Incident Response Pack that offers SMEs and Charities actionable guidance on preparing for and managing a cyber-attack. Should an organisation fall prey to cybercriminals, they can reach out to the Cyber and Fraud Centre’s free Incident Response helpline at 0800 1670 623 for immediate assistance.