Peter Day: ‘Cyber Town Malvern’ | Titania

On Thursday the 16th of January on Radio 4, Peter Day visited Malvern for his weekly programme, Peter Day’s World of Business. The 30 minute show called ‘Cyber Town Malvern’, describes how the rural town of Malvern and the surrounding Worcestershire area has become a hub for small innovative cyber security companies.

Peter Day first delves into where these cyber specialists have come from and why have they chosen Malvern?

The answer seems to be that many of these small and micro businesses have sprung from the highly specialist cyber workforce of QinetiQ, a large British defence company with its cyber defence centre based in Malvern.

During the programme QinetiQ were also described not only as a magnet for cyber companies to the area but ‘a surrogate University’ for the Malvern Hills Science Park by Alan White, Chief Executive.

In such a fast growing industry, local cyber businessman Mark Smyth-Roberts, Business Director at C3IA, tells Peter ‘there is a lack of resources, a lack of skills and we have to group together to fulfil some of the customer requirements.’

To this end Emma Philpott, who runs The Wyche Innovation Centre in Malvern, founded the now thriving Malvern Cyber Security Cluster, bringing together 45 cyber SME’s in the area to discuss mutual matters of concern.

Andy Williams is Commercial Director at Malvern Cyber Security Cluster member company Titania, a highly innovative security and compliance software development company. During his interview he discussed how being a member of the Cyber Cluster has contributed to their huge commercial success over the past two years.

‘It’s often not easy to talk openly about the activities that we and our clients are involved with, but when you meet a group of companies that are sharing similar opportunities and challenges, we can talk with them, we can exchange ideas, we can learn about best practice, we can swap war stories and this engenders a camaraderie.’

Andy goes on to tell Peter how the Malvern Cluster’s profile is being raised within Government and the group is now being consulted by Government on matters of cyber security strategy.

During 2013, nationally the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster has been used as a case study for success in the UK Information Economy Report and, along with Titania, was acknowledged for its success in industry by Cyber Minister Francis Maude in his cyber strategy address.

Simon Wiseman, Chief Technology Officer a Cluster Member Company Deep Secure, highly successful developer of assured data sharing solutions, explained how in the digital era, business can’t help but open themselves up to vulnerabilities.

‘In the old days you secured your business by isolating it from the rest of the world, now that is just not practical. You have to exchange information with others and sometimes with other that you don’t trust.’

On this note the lasting conclusion of program seems to be that in the ever connected world that we have created, cyber security is a very real threat. The idea that World War III is already being fought, not on the battle fields but in cyber space, is eluded to more than once during the interviews.

The community of cyber professionals in the Malvern area show through this program they are not only building business but coming together to raise awareness through projects such as the next phase of development at the Malvern Science Park, focusing on building a new training centre.

Also training and encouraging the next generation of cyber enthusiasts to fill the skills gap and become the new cyber warriors is underway through visiting school and setting up the QinetiQ cyber security challenge competition.

For more information about all the projects mentioned in this article, listen to ‘Cyber Town Malvern’ or contact the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster.