Cyber security start-ups selected for expanded GCHQ Cyber Accelerator programme

 

Nine cyber security start-ups, focusing on online security issues and threats, have been selected to join the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK.

The companies – which include a start-up that seeks to disrupt cyber crime by detecting and investigating crypto-currency transactions, and one that warns small businesses of their security weaknesses and how to fix them – will now begin an intensive acceleration programme that will help their businesses, with the aim of producing the next generation of cyber security leaders.

The accelerator, part of the Government’s Cheltenham Innovation Centre, is a partnership between GCHQ, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Wayra UK, the leading UK corporate accelerator that is part of the global Telefónica Open Future_ network.

Following a successful first phase of the accelerator earlier in 2017, when seven start-ups joined for three months, the partners have expanded the programme. The new cohort of nine companies will now benefit from a nine-month period at the accelerator, and will each receive increased funding of £25,000.

At the accelerator, they will also receive support to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including high-quality mentoring and business services, office space, and access to GCHQ, NCSC and Telefónica’s world-class personnel and technical expertise.

Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock said: “With the digital economy continuing to rapidly expand, it’s vital that we invest in the next generation of cyber security start-ups to ensure that the UK is the safest place to be online.

“The enhanced GCHQ Cyber Accelerator Programme will bring even more investment and world-leading support to some of the UK’s most innovative companies – helping them develop the skills and cutting-edge technology that will better protect us all from any future cyber attacks.

The Accelerator – part of the Cheltenham Innovation Centre – is a key commitment in the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy and builds on the wealth of cyber excellence in Cheltenham itself.”

Gary Stewart, Director at Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future_ (UK), said: “Cyber security is one of the most important challenges facing us today as a society. The GHCQ Cyber Accelerator is one of the UK’s most forward-thinking collaborations, and I think that the new cohort is probably one of the best groups of cyber start-ups anywhere in the world. I can’t wait to see what they achieve with the help of world-leading expertise from GCHQ, NCSC, and Telefónica.”

The new accelerator is the first step in delivering the Cheltenham Innovation Centre, the first of two world-leading innovation centres to be created as part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme.

The government’s new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, is making the UK the safest place to live and do business online. It is a single, central body for cyber security at a national level, managing national cyber security incidents, carrying out real-time threat analysis and providing tailored sector advice.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth, said: “We learnt a lot from our first Accelerator cohort and I’m looking forward to working with a whole new set of exciting ideas and innovative people.”

The companies selected to join the programme include:

  • Cybershield detects phishing and spear phishing, and alerts employees before they mistakenly act on deceptive emails
  • Elliptic detects and investigates cybercrime involving crypto-currencies, enabling the company to identify illicit blockchain activity and provide intelligence to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies
  • ExactTrak supplies embedded technology that protects data and devices, giving the user visibility and control even when the devices are turned off
  • Intruder provides a proactive security monitoring platform for internet-facing systems and businesses, detecting system weaknesses before hackers do
  • Ioetec provides a plug-and-play cloud service solution to connect Internet of Things devices with end-to-end authenticated, encrypted security
  • RazorSecure provides advanced intrusion and anomaly detection for aviation, rail and automotive sectors
  • Secure Code Warrior has built a hands-on, gamified Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) learning platform to help developers write secure code
  • Trust Elevate solves the problem of age verification and parental consent for young adults and children in online transactions
  • Warden helps businesses protect their users from hacks in real time by monitoring for suspicious activity

The GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion investment to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security. The 2016-2021 National Cyber Security Strategy sets out how the UK Government will deliver a UK that is secure and resilient to cyber threats; prosperous and confident in the digital world. The National Cyber Security Programme managed by the Cabinet Office coordinates the work undertaken to implement the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy.