Cyber security specialist Securious has experienced a boost in business since moving into the Exeter Science Park Centre earlier this year.
Run by husband and wife team, Roz and Pete Woodward, Securious is an experienced and highly qualified team of cyber security specialists who work across the region to help companies protect themselves against cyber threats and ensure they are compliant with required standards, such as accepting credit card payments.
Pete Woodward is a cyber security expert with more than a decade’s experience in the industry and holds an array of industry accreditations including PCI QSA, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacking certification (CEH) and is TOGAF certified.
He said: “Until recently it’s been a real battle to communicate just how important having even a basic level of cyber security is. In this last year however the level of general awareness has risen, probably due to the coverage of a series of cyber and data breaches in nationally and internationally recognised organisations. As a result, our work has really spiralled and we needed a base that would put us on the map.”
He continued: “Our company is an accredited Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and the only company in the South West able to validate businesses for the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. We needed a high quality head office to match the quality of work that we deliver and enable us to continue developing our products. We chose the Exeter Science Park to enhance that status and become part of a central hub for advanced digital excellence. One of our unique selling points is that we deliver an extremely high quality service for an excellent price and we’re able to do that because we’re based locally. Since moving into the Exeter Science Park Centre two months ago, we’ve found ourselves inundated with calls and emails from prospective clients, colleagues and stakeholders.”
Another key area currently delivered by Securious involves working with firms to ensure they comply to the Government backed Cyber Essentials scheme. The scheme, introduced in 2014, provides an assurance framework that organisations should implement in order to mitigate the risk from common internet based threats. Securious is currently the only company south of Bristol to qualify as a certification body for the government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.
Roz Woodward, a qualified accountant with a background in senior management, is a passionate evangelist for the importance of good cyber security for all organisations, especially those in professional practices. She said: “Around 80 per cent of cyber-attacks could be prevented if basic security measures were implemented. The Cyber Essentials scheme shows how to put these controls in place and helps organisations to assure their customers, investors and insurers that they have taken essential precautions to protect data. All organisations should really be complying with the scheme in order to reduce their vulnerability. It’s a low cost process and can save companies hundreds to thousands of pounds in the long term. The Cyber Essentials scheme has become a ‘must’ for organisations big and small.
She continued: “Being at the Exeter Science Park has not only raised our profile as a professional cyber security firm but it’s also made us extremely accessible. From here we’re minutes from the M5, making it easy for us to visit our clients across the South West and work alongside them without having to charge a premium. Our clients have also been really keen to come and see us here at the Park – everybody is really excited about seeing what the Exeter Science Park has to offer as a collaborative community, as well as the companies based here.”
Pete added: “We didn’t want to be just tenants in a building. The Science Park’s vision for us is to grow through new product development and this is one of the things that fell into place for us. Instead of landlords, the team at Exeter Science Park feel like business partners, which is exactly what we were looking for.”
Securious are also co-founders of the South West Cyber Security Cluster (SWCSC), set up to raise the profile of cyber security in the region, support businesses of any size to ensure their security is appropriate and to share best practice amongst security specialists. The Cluster launched with just six members, but twelve months on is now brimming with over 60 organisations.
Pete said: “Moving here has been fantastic, our opportunity for networking has multiplied and the Science Park have introduced us to so many new people, which has in turn boosted the membership of the SWCSC. There’s a buzz in the air and a feeling of inspiration that feeds into people. We’re in the process of looking to recruit another member of staff but we’re determined to employ the right person with the most appropriate experience and qualifications.”
Robin Jackson, Director of the Exeter Science Park Centre said: “Since arriving in April Securious have really embraced all that we have to offer here at the Science Park. We currently have two other companies that work in the security sector and Securious really complements the work already being done, focusing on compliance and educating companies on the threat landscape that is ever present in the world of cyber security.”
The building of the Science Park Centre has been made possible with shareholder equity from Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, the University of Exeter; the Heart of the South West LEP which committed £4.5m loan from the Growing Places Fund; and a £1 million grant from the Regional Growth Fund.