North-east IT company Converged Communication Solutions has appointed one of Scotland’s foremost cyber security experts in a move designed to help businesses better combat the growing threat posed by cyber crime.
Gerry Grant has joined Converged, which has offices in Aberdeen and Inverness, as chief security officer, a newly created senior post that will provide leadership in an area fast becoming a major concern for British business. Until recently, Gerry was the chief ethical hacker at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.
A graduate of Abertay University’s Ethical Hacking BSc degree course, Gerry also studied Business Studies at The Robert Gordon University. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Converged and his appointment illustrates the importance the firm places on supporting clients in protecting their systems from malicious cyber attacks.
Gerry will work with the existing cyber security team at Converged to enhance the firm’s service offering, which will ultimately better equip clients in fighting increasingly complex cyber attacks. Using his knowledge and skills, Gerry will also be able to test client networks to identity system vulnerabilities.
Cyber security breaches are one of the biggest threats facing British businesses today – estimated to cost the UK economy over £6billion a year. Figures released last year by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport highlighted that four in ten businesses and two in ten charities experienced a cyber security breach during the previous year. The data also revealed that only 27% of businesses and 21% of charities had a formal cyber security policy.
Last year, in an effort to improve cyber resilience in Scotland, the Scottish Government launched a scheme to provide small and medium-sized organisations with up to £1,000 of funding to help them achieve the UK Government-backed Cyber Essentials certification. The certification is designed to protect organisations from a range of common online threats and demonstrate their commitment to cyber security.
Neil Christie, managing director of Converged, said: “Gerry is one of Scotland’s most respected cyber security experts and brings to Converged an unprecedented level of knowledge and understanding about hacking and how hackers operate. The way in which technology is now an intrinsic part of our lives means that we must maintain good cyber security practices at all times. Our clients will benefit from Gerry’s expertise.”
Highly regarded in his field, Gerry has delivered presentations on computer security at national conferences and contributed to the popular STV series Stopping Scotland’s Scammers, which aimed to protect consumers against fraudulent activity. Later this month, he will address delegates at the Scot-Secure 2019 cyber security for business conference in Edinburgh. During the event, which takes place on Wednesday, 27 and Thursday, 28 March, Gerry will explore the evolution of cyber attacks.
Commenting on his appointment Gerry Grant said: “Joining Converged is an exciting move, which will allow me to directly support businesses, organisations and individuals in implementing the advice I’ve previously been giving. Improving cyber security is an ongoing process and doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive, and employees can be the first and best line of defence. The Cyber Essentials voucher scheme is an excellent opportunity for organisations to receive support in protecting their operations against cyber attacks.
“Cyber security is one of, if not the, biggest issue facing businesses today. Organisations need to appreciate that the data and information they hold is worth stealing and be aware of the methods that cyber criminals will employ to get it. There are simple steps that we can all take to protect our systems and ourselves – installing the latest updates and patches for example is a great starting point.”