UK cyber entrepreneurs set to meet world’s security experts in Silicon Valley

An exciting mix of innovative start-ups are flying the flag for the UK at a prestigious conference on cyber security in California’s Silicon Valley. The seven companies (namely TrustStamp, Ohalo, Pixelpin, Secure Schools, The CyberFish Company, fraud.Net and Keybox) are supported by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) under its Cyber Accelerator Programme, which is specifically designed to support companies creating new products for the UK’s cyber security industry.

The companies have come up with a range of innovations to improve online safety, from an authentication system which formats a user’s favourite pictures instead of passwords (developed Pixelpin) through to a platform which uses Artificial Intelligence to protect businesses from security breaches (devised by fraud.net).

At the four-day RSA Conference in San Francisco, the UK businesses participating in the programme will join their international counterparts to hear about the latest developments in cyber security and will be pitching to prospective clients at the Telefonica ElevenPaths Booth.

The RSA Conference is a major IT security gathering which attracts specialists from around the globe. The San Francisco event is being attended by the NCSC’s CEO Ciaran Martin.

Martin said: “These businesses have created fantastic cyber security products with the potential to make a real difference across a range of areas. The quality of their innovations shows the value of the Cyber Accelerator Programme and I have no doubt their experience at the RSA Conference will help them on their journey.”

Part of the UK Government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy, the Cyber Accelerator Programme is a collaboration between the NCSC, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Wayra UK, which is part of the Telefónica global business network.

Developing cutting-edge solutions

Cyber security minister Matt Warman commented: “The Cyber Accelerator Programme plays a vital role in helping start-ups develop cutting-edge cyber security products, so it’s great to see the current cohort of businesses showcasing their services on the global stage. Through our National Cyber Security Strategy we are committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online and are investing £1.9 billion to make sure we lead the way.”

During the trip, the cohort of companies will be pitching to Sierra VC, Palo Alto Networks and ForgePoint Ventures as well as attending a private session with Julio Casal (start-up turned serial entrepreneur) and joining private networking events with the Paladin Group and ElevenPaths.

Chris Ensor, the NCSC’s deputy director for growth, explained“The Cyber Accelerator Programme has proven to be a great success. Previous companies involved are already moving forward to deliver real-world solutions, bringing new ideas to the cyber security market. The aim of the Cyber Accelerator Programme is to support those with pioneering ideas which, in turn, encourages new skills, jobs and market growth.”

The last three rounds of the Cyber Accelerator Programme have between them raised £35 million in private funding for tech projects which have flourished since being mentored by the NCSC and Wayra.

Combining the NCSC’s technical expertise and Wayra’s commercial experience, the Cyber Accelerator Programme selects up to ten new companies each cycle for a nine-month programme based in Cheltenham.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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