UK cyber experts connect with tech startups to tackle security challenges

In a move to link UK cyber experts with the tech industry, the first companies to work with the National Cyber Security Centre for Startups have been chosen.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – which is part of GCHQ – and Plexal, the cyber innovation company, have revealed the names of the first companies that will take part in the recently launched NCSC For Startups initiative.

The NCSC was established to connect the technical expertise of UK cyber experts with innovative startups in order to resolve some of the UK’s most pressing cyber questions.

The NCSC For Startups initiative

The NCSC For Startups initiative is the descendant of NCSC Cyber Accelerator, which enabled over 40 tech companies to raise more than £100m in external investments. This novel initiative entails the continual onboarding of companies and will provide the potential for even greater collaboration than ever before.

The programme accepts startups at all stages of growth; from those establishing a Minimum Viable Product, to those with more developed cyber security solutions looking to expand into new markets and pilot technology.

The NCSC has recently announced the first five companies that will be joining the initiative, in efforts to tackle the UK’s most pressing cyber threats and support a thriving cyber security industry. The selected companies offer a wide range of solutions to issues such as cyber fraud and ransomware.

The selected companies

The companies chosen to join up with UK cyber experts are: PORGiESOFT, which is an edtech startup utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build cyber fraud detection for enterprise employees; Exalens, a startup supplying SME producers with an economical threat detection service; Enclave, a company that assists organisations in developing Zero Trust overlay networks; Meterian, which is an SaaS provider platform that establishes a scalable and sustainable line of defence for apps that employ open source software; and Rebellion Defence, a startup that applies AI to protect national security systems from threats like ransomware.

These startups will be given direct support from Plexal’s cyber innovation team and the UK’s leading cyber experts from the NCSC and GCHQ. The selected startups will also obtain access to broader technical and industrial opportunities with Plexal’s industry partners across the UK’s cyber security ecosystem.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, commented: “The UK has a thriving cyber security industry and I’m excited to get to work with our first five companies and bring their innovations to life.

“Finding great ideas that can help protect all areas of society is a key part of our mission and we look forward to collaborating with more startups as the programme rolls on.”

Saj Huq, Director of Innovation at Plexal, added: “We’re excited to welcome the first innovators to NCSC For Startups. The response to our call for applications has been phenomenal and we’re looking forward to bringing on more startups throughout 2021 in response to specific challenges and technology needs in the cyber security market.

“The NCSC understands the UK’s cyber security challenges better than anyone, and the opportunity for innovative startups to benefit from its world-class insight and expertise is unique. Combined with Plexal’s extensive track record in supporting startups to become market leaders, NCSC For Startups will help companies address some of the most challenging security problems facing the government, businesses and society now and in the future.”

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