Editorial

UK cybersecurity start-ups join with NCSC to tackle threats

First five companies take their place on the NCSC For Startups programme

Posted 10 August 2021 by Christine Horton


Five cybersecurity innovators have been chosen to work with the UK’s technical experts to address some of the most prevalent threats facing the nation.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – and innovation centre Plexal have today named the first companies to join the recently launched NCSC For Startups initiative.

The programme sys it welcomes start-ups at all stages of maturity; from those developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), to those with established cybersecurity solutions looking to expand into new markets and pilot technology.

NCSC For Startups is the successor to the NCSC Cyber Accelerator, a programme which helped more than 40 tech companies raise more than £100m in external investment.

The first five companies offer a range of solutions to issues including cyber fraud and ransomware.

The companies are:

  • PORGiESOFT – an edtech startup using AI to develop cyber fraud detection for enterprise employees
  • Exalens – equipping SME manufacturers with an inexpensive threat detection service
  • Enclave – helping organisations effortlessly create Zero Trust overlay networks
  • Meterian – SaaS provider platform that builds a scalable and sustainable line of defence for apps that use open source software
  • Rebellion Defence – using AI to defend national security systems against threats like ransomware

The chosen companies will receive direct support from Plexal’s cyber innovation team and experts from the NCSC and GCHQ. Start-ups will also gain access to wider technical and commercial opportunities with Plexal’s industry partners across the UK’s cybersecurity ecosystem. Start-ups will keep all intellectual property and equity created during the programme.

Finding ideas

“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,” said Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for cyber growth.

“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 start-ups as the programme rolls on.”

The programme will be supported by Deloitte, CyNam, which brings Cheltenham’s cyber community together, Cheltenham-based coworking space Hub8 and tech skills provider QA.

Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, said the organisation was 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 start-ups throughout 2021 in response to specific challenges and technology needs in the cybersecurity market.

“The NCSC understands the UK’s cybersecurity challenges better than anyone, and the opportunity for innovative start-ups to benefit from its world-class insight and expertise is unique. Combined with Plexal’s extensive track record in supporting start-ups 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.”