Here we are again…Cyber Scotland Week 2021! This important week is all about making businesses, organisations, and individuals more cyber aware and resilient.

I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months in the cyber security world and the great work we’ve been doing at Proact.

Expanding the team

Last February, we were engaging with customers on a record level, hiring three new Graduate Security Operations Centre (SOC) Analysts and we were working in the office! Then in an instant, we were working from home, wearing masks and isolating from each other. However, our transition to the home office was almost seamless. A few team members needed monitors and cables, but by the next day, after the “work from home if you can” orders were announced, we were doing the job remotely and staying safe.

Our three new hires have developed and settled in well, despite the unprecedented circumstances. From learning how to work in a SOC with limited face-to-face time; adapting to virtual meetings and virtual learning; attending virtual coffee mornings (plus, plenty of real coffee to get through the night shifts); to joining a new company with new people. The last 12 months have been really challenging for them, but they have adapted excellently. Excitingly, we will soon introduce a new security engineer to our team.

We’re so pleased and proud of the work the SOC team do to keep Proact and its customers safe.

Protecting more organisations

Although business has dropped globally over the year as COVID-19 has taken some time to adapt to, we have seen increased threats and vulnerabilities, and some very scary and frightening use cases such as the SolarWinds attack.

As a result, more businesses have been turning to Proact to help improve their cyber security strategies and implement new solutions. It has been a pleasure to onboard new customers throughout the pandemic, helping them to secure their colleagues and customers.

And in case you’ve missed it, Proact’s security experts have been blogging about cyber security and producing podcasts, guiding organisations in their IT security planning.

Inspiring the next generation

Our partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) continues to be strong. Sadly, due to the pandemic, we’ve been unable to work as closely as we would have liked with the students and the GCU Hacking Society. However, I’ve been grateful to have the opportunity to present (remotely) to their fantastic students about my career, my expectations of the industry and the reality of identifying threats and vulnerabilities and protecting against them.

It’s a rewarding relationship to have with the university. GCU continues to allow us to inspire the next generation of cyber security gurus. Our upcoming podcast will showcase some of that amazing work – so watch this space!

I’m excited to share that we will be collaborating again during Cyber Scotland Week 2021 when we join GCU to encourage, support and inspire secondary school pupils in Scotland on the NPA Cyber courses run by the SQA through GCU Cyber Futures this Thursday at 13:00. We’re all very excited about welcoming them to cyber security, encouraging them to follow cyber security pathways through school, university, college and apprenticeships, and hopefully becoming the cyber stars of the future and working with us at Proact!

Throughout the rest of the week, we’ll continue to recognise Cyber Scotland Week 2021. We’ll be sharing profiles about our fantastic security team, publishing informative and interesting blog posts and opinion pieces and supporting our partners at GCU. We’ll also be engaging with our customer base and showing why cyber security is a big part of our future and yours too! So, keep an eye on our LinkedIn and Twitter feeds and get involved!

Cyber Security Euan Birch

Euan Birch

Security Operations Lead, UK

Find Euan on LinkedIn