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NCSC startups scheme turns focus to operational technology, SME security

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NCSC for Startups initiative turns its focus to supporting innovation around securing operational technology and addressing the challenges facing smaller businesses

Alex Scroxton


Published: 28 Jul 2022 12: 45

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and its own partner innovation specialist, Plexal, have made addressing the security challenges facing operational technology (OT) environments and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the focus of the next thing of their NCSC for Startups initiative.

The partners are calling for innovators to step of progress and make an application for the programme, which gives support and assist with companies developing, adapting and piloting new security services and products.

The NCSCs mission would be to make the united kingdom the safest spot to live and conduct business online, this means providing support and expertise across a complete selection of areas, said Chris Ensor, deputy director for cyber growth at the NCSC.

Startups have a large role to play in this, and Id strongly encourage people that have ideas for protecting operational technology, SMEs and digital citizens to use to NCSC for Startups and reap the benefits of leading experts in cyber security.

SajHuq, chief commercial officer andhead ofinnovation at Plexal, added: Increasing cyber risks, alongside the insecure adoption of emerging technologies across society, could diminish economic growth, threaten online safety and erode public trust.

The UKs future prosperity depends on the necessity to build cyber resilience across all parts of our economy, within all layers of our supply chains and across all areas of our critical infrastructure. NCSC For Startups offers a unique platform for mission-orientated innovators to handle these needs and unlock numerous market opportunities.

The NCSC said it had been critical to safeguard highly available OT environments, particularly in situations where internet-controlled systems have already been put into legacy setups, because cyber attacks on industries that be determined by it could have serious consequences potentially even lethal ones.

The partners want specifically for businesses which have ideas on how best to unlock the advantages of Industry 4.0 such as for example improved productivity and sustainability without increasing the chance profile they face.

Meanwhile, a proliferation of cyber attacks against SMEs and private individuals is coming at the worst time, as overarching trends such as for example rising energy costs, soaring inflation and understaffing combine to render both businesses and people particularly vulnerable.

To the end, the programme is scouting for new suggestions to help these groups in areas such as for example effective implementation of cyber hygiene best practice, incident response, and improved cyber training and behaviour change.

Numerous startups have previously moved through the programme since its launch in the summertime of 2021 as a successor to the NCSC Cyber Accelerator, and the scheme happens to be supporting a cohort of five innovators specialising in ransomware.

As before, successful applicants will undertake the three-month intensive programme, or perhaps a 12-month programme committing at the least two days monthly, hosted at the NCSCs Cheltenham innovation hub.

They’ll receive support in areas such as for example securing investment, marketing, connections to audience in the private sector, and product development support, along with usage of the NCSCs world-leading experts and insights.

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