Professor outlines case to BBC for Security in Cyber Space around the Scottish Independence debate

12/02/2014

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Outline

Prof Bill Buchanan has outlined the key facts around Scottish Independence in relation to the Cyber infrastructure.

The full story is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25847084

Details:

Police Scotland would lose automatic access to the capabilities and resources of MI5, SIS and GCHQ and the UK's wider intelligence analysis capabilities. An independent Scottish state would have to build up its own infrastructure because new capabilities would be required."

PRO-UNION: UK Home Secretary Theresa May, says: "I don't think it is possible to guarantee that the threat would diminish with a separate Scotland, but what would change would be the scale of capability that Scotland would have access to."

PRO-INDEPENDENCE: Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, says: "An independent Scotland will have first rate security arrangements to counter any threats we may face. And we will continue to work in very close collaboration with the rest of the UK and international partners on security and intelligence matters, which is in everyone's interests."

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No matter which way it goes, every nation, every region, every city and every organisation needs to understand where its key risks are around its infrastructure, and try to mitigate against these”

EXPERT - Bill Buchanan, Edinburgh Napier Universitysays: "Scotland is a small nation, and, in an independent Scotland, it is likely to have a different threat profile than the UK generally. For us, the focus is likely to be in the protection of our key business sectors, such as oil and gas, the finance sector, education, and health and social care. It is most likely that our defences will focus on protecting citizen rights against threats, while trying to enable increased access to data, and providing citizens with more control over it. Through increased devolution, Scotland has made major strides towards this, in a way which the UK has tended to struggled with.

"No matter what happens, the nation is becoming increasingly dependent on its cyber infrastructure. This is highlighted by certain key internet routes from Scotland to the rest of the world. Any problems with these routes would have a major impact on both businesses and the public sector.

"Scotland mainly depends on its internet and wireless communication infrastructure on route that go through London. Any issues around power outages in London could cause significant problems in Scotland. No matter which way the vote goes, Scotland needs to understand its critical infrastructure and the routes for the provision of energy and internet connectivity.

"In conclusion, the ball has been rolling for a more developed information infrastructure in Scotland, and nothing should stop this. While the nation may lose out on the connections to the larger UK intelligence network, it could gain from a connection to a large international one. No matter which way it goes, every nation, every region, every city and every organisation needs to understand where its key risks are around its infrastructure, and try to mitigate against these.

"At present Scotland has an under-investment in its cyber defence, and no matter which way the country votes, there needs to be more funding around this by the Scottish government."



 
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Associated people

William Buchanan
Director of CDCS
w.buchanan@napier.ac.uk
+44 131 455 2759
Cyber-Security
Electronic information now plays a vital role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. So the need for a secure and trustworthy online infrastructure is more important than ever. without it, not only the growth of the internet but our personal interactions and the economy itself could be at risk.

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