Mercia EIS Funds

Midlands cyber firm is selected for flagship London centre

A Midlands company whose technology could help to safeguard smart cities and critical infrastructure from cyber attacks has been named as one of 10 businesses selected to join a new government-backed flagship cyber security centre.

CyberOwl, a Coventry University spinout which is backed by Mercia Fund Managers, is amongst the founding members of the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA). The £13.5million initiative, funded by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, has been established to showcase innovators solving critical cybersecurity challenges and position the UK as a global leader in the industry.

CyberOwl’s platform, Medulla, uses advanced analytics to monitor the level of risk, identify the earliest indicators of an attack and set out clear priorities on how to tackle them. Its cutting-edge approach significantly reduces computing overheads and means it can easily be adapted for large networks like the Internet of Things (IoT).

CyberOwl was founded in February 2016 with funding from Mercia Fund Managers, Coventry University and Crossword Security and is led by security experts Dan Ng, Ken Woghiren and Coventry University academic Professor Siraj Shaikh. The company was also chosen for the first cohort of the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator programme in 2017, and was most recently selected as one of 13 finalists in the UK’s Most Innovative Small Cyber Companies contest. The company continues to work with the university and is also an active member of the Midlands Cyber initiative.

CEO of CyberOwl, Dan Ng, said: “The UK is repeatedly being recognised as a world leader in cyber innovation. As a founding member of LORCA, CyberOwl will be at the heart of this movement and global cyber centre of excellence. This gives us a global platform to showcase the game-changing work we are doing to shift organisations towards a risk-based and data-driven approach to cyber resilience.”

Alistair Forbes, Head of Software & the Internet at Mercia, said: “Being selected for LORCA is further recognition of CyberOwl’s potential. Its technology is designed to deal with vast amounts of data and provides clarity in cases of attack by helping security professionals know ‘which fires to put out first.’ Participation in LORCA will be an excellent opportunity to forge new relationships that will help accelerate the development and growth of the company.”

LORCA, which was launched last month by Digital Secretary Matt Hancock, is based in the former Olympic Park in Stratford and will be delivered by Plexal in collaboration with Deloitte’s cyber team and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast.