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December 11, 2017

GCHQ ramps up fight against cyber crime with start-up scheme

A new scheme with GCHQ aims to boost the protection against cybercrime across the UK.

By April Slattery

Nine new start-ups from across the UK will work alongside experts at GCHQ on a new development scheme as part of efforts to better protect the UK from cybercrime.

The start-ups will spend nine months working with the UK’s Intelligence Agency, as well as with business experts, on a scheme to help bring the best protection against cybercrime and hackers to the UK.

It will be the second intake of start-ups for GCHQ, which saw the number of applications from those wishing to be part of the scheme double in comparison to the first round.

Start-ups taking part in the scheme vary from secure software coding trainers, vulnerability management firms and secure cloud connectivity protectors.

During the scheme the nine start-ups will receive support to help with the developments of their existing products on offer, guiding the businesses to the best route to market.

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

GCHQ and related experts, including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), will cover all areas of business assistance from funding, office space and mentoring, to direct contact with an investor network.

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Furthermore, the scheme hopes to enable businesses to expand their capabilities, boost their ideas with new innovation methods and develop the most cutting-edge products out there.

“There’s a bunch of problems out there and we want solutions to them. That’s what we hope we’ve got with the companies that we’ve selected for the accelerator,” said Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for cyber skills and growth.

Similar to the first programme, GCHQ’s second scheme will be delivered by Wayra UK, part of the Telefónica Open Future in collaboration with the NCSC and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to help those firms boost their services in the UK cyber security sector.

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At a time of much concern over the security of the nation’s data, the new scheme will hopefully boost the economy and protection of the UK as start-ups become household names in the cybersecurity world.

GCHQ aims to help UK start-ups take the lead in producing the next generation of cybersecurity systems. Furthermore, the scheme the businesses are set to embark on is part of the Government’s plan to boost the already booming £22bn cyber-security sector.

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