Digital technologies offer huge opportunities for Scotland as a modern, progressive and economically successful nation.
Our citizens, businesses, charities and public services are making increasing use of these technologies to innovate and play an active role in our society and economy.
New ways of connecting and communicating are helping to boost productivity and increase access to a global marketplace worth billions of pounds. Growth in digital trade offers exciting opportunities to increase Scotland's economic prosperity.
Scotland's digital strategy, Realising Scotland's full potential in a digital world, sets out how we will make sure that digital is at the heart of everything we do – how we deliver inclusive economic growth, reform our public service and prepare our children for the workplace of the future.
In short, digital is fast becoming one of the foundations upon which our modern society and economy are built.
We believe it is vital that those foundations are safe and secure.
As our citizens and organisations carry out more digital transactions and share more information online, so the risks to our data, intellectual property, finances and corporate reputations become greater.
By taking action to tackle these risks, and to ensure the fundamental safety and resilience of our digital activity against cyber threats, we can ensure a sound underpinning for our digital economy and society.
In 2015 we launched Scotland's cyber resilience strategy, Safe, Secure and Prosperous, which sets out a commitment to work towards making Scotland a world-leading nation in cyber resilience.
Since then, to help realise that ambition, we have published and begun to implement action plans in the key areas of learning and skills and public, private and third sector cyber resilience.
This economic opportunity action plan, the fifth in a series of five, has been developed in partnership with our enterprise agencies, the National Cyber Resilience Leaders' Board, the private sector and academia. It sets out the key practical steps we and our partners will take collectively to grow Scotland's cyber security industry, encourage the development of innovative cyber security research and deliver world-leading cyber security goods and services over the period to 2021.
Our collective aim is to put Scotland in a position to reap the economic benefits that the ever-growing global demand for cyber security goods and services will bring.
We believe that Scotland's global reputation for cyber resilience has the potential to be a determinant of future economic success. We look forward to working closely with the private sector, civil society and academia to make Scotland a prosperous and cyber resilient nation.
John Swinney, MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
Derek Mackay, MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work
In a world where digital connectivity is ubiquitous and increasing, the importance of cyber resilience has never been greater. Demand for robust cyber security products and services is rising, with the global cyber security market expected to grow to over $144 billion over the next five years .
Scotland already has a head start in this area, with a rapidly evolving cluster of innovative cyber security companies, world class academic expertise and an agile ecosystem that allows us to capitalise on our complementary strengths across the digital space in areas such as Fintech and data. What is imperative now is that we do everything in our power to create the right conditions for this cyber cluster to grow and thrive, rapidly and sustainably.
What stands out for me about this plan is that it is intimately linked to the needs of industry, both in its development and ongoing delivery, and will require a truly collaborative effort if it is to succeed. I value any opportunity where we can join up our efforts to deliver greater impact, and this plan is a fantastic starting point to allow that to happen. It is just a starting point though – now the real work begins, and I'm looking forward to seeing the contribution Scottish Enterprise can make within this partnership. Ultimately, if we succeed, the actions in this plan will not only support the growth of Scotland's cyber security cluster, but also have a direct contribution to that far broader aim of cementing Scotland's position as a secure place to live, work and do business.
Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise