£65k funding to enhance cyber security company

A Lancashire cyber security specialist has secured £65,000 for research and development which will be used to fund projects with cutting edge technology and to expand its services to combat cyber crime.

The funding for Xyone Cyber Security will help the team of certified ethical hackers and qualified consultants expand into a new base at Sci-Tech, Daresbury. This will be in addition to its existing premises at InfoLab21 at Lancaster University and The Quays in Salford.

The funding has been provided via Bolton Business Ventures through the European Regional Development Fund and private investors.

Xyone also intends to use the funding to enhance its penetration testing services. Penetration testing is a method of evaluating computer and network security by simulating attacks on computer systems or networks using external and internal methods of attack.

With cyber security breaches costing the UK economy £27 billion a year, Xyone plans to use the funding to set up a dedicated Cyber Advisory Service (CAS) in conjunction with Security Lancaster at Lancaster University which is one of eleven cyber security centres of excellence in the UK. CAS is set to go live in early 2014 and a team of experts will offer SMEs advice on what to do in the event of a cyber attack as well as the measures to adopt to prevent against attacks.

Stephen Robinson, managing director at Xyone said: “Businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on digital processes, transactions and information and worryingly, attacks on networks and applications are growing in numbers at an exponential rate.

“But statistics show that many businesses are unaware of the security risks they face – whether through the internet or other business infrastructure - until sadly it is too late and they have been hacked.

“The £65,000 funding will go towards developing cutting edge technology such as a vulnerability scanner in conjunction with Security Lancaster. The scanner works by allowing Xyone’s certified ethical hackers to run a series of unique tests for each client, streamlining processes and eliminating human error.”

Stephen added: “In addition, we hope to further expand our network of partners and focus our work around the legal sector in particular.”

Talking about the impact cyber crime has on businesses, Stephen added: “The cost of a severe cyber-security breach is estimated between £450,000 to £850,000 for large businesses and £35,000 to £65,000 for smaller ones so it is clear the devastating damage it can have.

“In particular, businesses in sectors such as legal, insurance and finance handle and store large amounts of confidential data so it is imperative they have secure systems in place. Protecting these key information assets is essential for the sustainability and competitiveness of businesses today.”

Xyone provides a range of application and network penetration testing and consultancy services for SMEs, public sector organisations and larger corporates looking to protect their business and enhance overall security of their IT systems. The company work across sectors including legal, financial, insurance, e-commerce and IT.

Associate director for business partnership and enterprise at Security Lancaster, Daniel Prince said: “We need to make sure that businesses are protected and help the UK become more resilient to cyber attacks. Virtually all businesses communicate with their suppliers and customers online via the internet and email and large amounts of confidential data is stored on the cloud now. “With cyber attacks identified as one of the top four risks to UK national security, it is essential that our cyber infrastructure is secure. The introduction of CAS and the work carried out by ourselves and Xyone will offer businesses a route to find out more about how they can secure their networks today and how to resolve any breaches in security.”