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Techfest online security workshop set forCyberScotland Week


By Alan Beresford

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TECHFEST is to help charities across the north-east better protect themselves against online crime, with a new virtual event taking place during CyberScotland Week.

The free workshop, Cyber Security Basics for Charities – a chance to learn, question and build cyber confidence, is being supported by technology and security specialist Converged Communication Solutions, with a 45-minute interactive presentation and a Q&A opportunity at the end.

The session will be delivered via video conferencing platform Zoom and will be held at 11am on Wednesday, February 24.

As organisations have transitioned to remote working and are relying on digital communication more than ever, many employees and volunteers have fallen victim to cyber threats.

According to research from Ecclesiastical Insurance, 95 per cent of charities now work from home. With only half of these organisations taking the necessary steps to increase cyber protection for staff working remotely, according to the research, unfortunately this has resulted in one third of charities falling victim to cyber crime.

Working together, TechFest and Converged aim to bring an entry level understanding to those at the start of their cyber journey. Topics covered will include: how cyber security affects an organisation, why cyber criminals target charities, what the different types of attacks are and how individuals can identify risks.

Managing director at TechFest, Sarah Chew, said: “As a charity ourselves we can struggle to feel confident in the field of cyber security, but by working with Converged Communication we’ve been able to better our knowledge.

“We really want other charities to benefit from this information as unfortunately, charities do not have the same kind of expensive software, or IT departments who specialise in this area, to help protect them from such crimes.

“Many people don’t realise the severity of sharing personal data and how easy it is for cyber criminals to use it against you, even when you think you are being cautious - and this goes for your business and personal data.

“This is why we’ve chosen to deliver this event during CyberScotland Week, which aims to make Scotland more cyber aware and resilient. The information from Converged is so informative and will really help delegates understand how we can all protect ourselves better and make us think twice about the kind of information we put online.”

Robbie Ross, chief security officer at Converged Communications, added: “It’s a sad fact that cyber criminals do not care who they target and therefore it is vital that charities are as prepared as any business for a cyber-attack.

“Unfortunately, though, when it comes to cyber security, very often charities can be at a disadvantage and we want to change this. A huge perceived barrier is around lack of technical skills or know-how, but we want to assure charities that good cyber security practices are entirely achievable without these. It’s time to take away the stigma that cyber security is ‘techy’ and ‘geeky’.

“Many of us do this job for the simple reason that we don’t want to see people and businesses falling victim to cybercrime, especially when there are simple steps, they can take to protect themselves.

“For this reason, we made a commitment to reach as many charities as possible this year, to arm them with the fundamentals and the tools required to more confidently protect their organisation from threats.Our partnership with TechFest underlines this ambition.

“What I would say to anyone who is wondering where on earth to start or is afraid that they won’t understand cyber security, is that this event has been created with you in mind.”

The tech specialists will also simplify common IT and cyber jargon as well as explain techniques used by hackers, such as social engineering, which pieces together information from social media profiles in order to access your personal data and hack into accounts.

TechFest and Converged have created a poll for attendees to identify areas of concern in advance so these can be addressed during the event.

The Cyber Security for Charities – a chance to learn, question and build cyber confidence, presentation will be recorded for future access, and for charities to refer back to as a training tool.

CyberScotland Week runs from February 22-28.

To register for the event, please use the Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/137769695869

Alongside a year-round programme of STEM education events, TechFest runs Aberdeen and North-east Scotland’s annual festival of STEM. In 2020 the event went digital for the first time in 27 years, reaching audiences on a global scale. For more information on TechFest’s work, visit www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk



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