North Wales Cyber Security Cluster

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About the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster

The North Wales Cyber Security Cluster has been formed, under the umbrella of the UK Cyber Security Forum, by Hashtag Cyber Ltd and Glyndwr University.

The aims of the Cluster are two-fold:-

  • To support the members of the cluster by communicating National and International initiatives and trade opportunities, providing a networking platform to share ideas and best practice, encouraging collaboration and identifying partnership opportunities so that small cyber security specialist businesses in Wales can find new ways to grow.

  • To support the UK Government's Cyber Security Strategy by building cyber security knowledge, skills and capabilities in Wales, to make businesses more resilient to cyber attacks and Wales one of the most secure places in the world to do business.

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Previous Meetings

What exactly is a Soft Landing Programme? Find out at the October Cluster meeting!

Exploring business opportunities in another country is hard work. Combine communication challenges and cultural differences then add a wide variety of stumbling blocks such as visas, free trade zones, financial climates, business legal & regulatory dictates, immigration, accommodation, travel etc. and this process can be overwhelming.

Businesses support organisations and networking groups all over the world recognise the importance of exporting and/or inward investment to their members, their sectors, their industry and ultimately their national economy. When the subject matter is cyber security, the stakes are even higher because the adversary respects no borders and it is only through people and organisations from all over the world working together that we can hope to keep up with and gain the upper hand over malicious actors and the technologies they exploit.

This is where the concept of Soft Landing comes into it's own!

It is very disappointing therefore to find so few tailored soft landing programmes that are openly available to the people and organisations who need them.

Cyber Wales was not alone in forming its own version of a soft landing programme when we began back in 2014. As we got to know other cyber ecosystems around the world, we found that many had also created their own programmes but the disparities between the formats and offerings, as well as the difficulties in communicating the offerings from country to country made it very difficult to maximise the benefits of these programmes.

This is one of the key challenges that GlobalEPIC focused on after its formation in 2017 and today there exists a global network of cyber ecosystems who have aligned their soft landing programmes around a common framework making it as easy as possbile for people and organisations to find, explore, work, conduct research and collaborate with like-minded cyber professionals all over the world.

14 cyber security ecosystems stood together on stage at the 3rd European Cybersecurity Forum held in Krakow, Poland and became the founding members of the Global Ecosystem of ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity (GlobalEPIC).

The organisation was founded to build a global community of innovation ecosystems who collaborate on projects and share expertise through an ever expanding network of diverse organizations all committed to "Network Globally, Benefit Locally".

Cyber Wales took pride of place at the launch, standing alongside a friend and colleague from Invest Surrey, committed to the development of cyber capability and resilience from its HQ in the City of Surrey in British Columbia, just across the Fraser River from Vancouver and sharing a border with the US State of Washington..

The City of Surrey is able to function as a "living Lab" for cyber innovation and its location makes it an ideal launchpad for business opportunities and/or research collaboration with the major North American cyber epicentres.

We are absolutely delighted to be joining with this amazing team from Canada to provide more information about the GlobalEPIC Soft Landing Programme that we have each been running in our ecosystems since 2018.

Join the All Wales Cyber Security Cluster October meeting for this very special session, to:-

  • Meet our friends from Canada;
  • Learn more about the opportunities the ecosystem of ecosystem brings; and
  • Find out what the Soft Landing programme offers to people and/or organisations
See you all there!

Register to join the event remotely

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 21 September 2021

21st September 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


Could this be the birth of a new Welsh Cyber Cluster?

Join us for the next cluster meeting to explore the formation of a new partnership cluster to help tackle skills shortages in cyber in Wales.

We have had many discussions in previous cluster meetings about the skills shortages we experience as employers within the cyber industry, so in response to this, Cyber Wales is teaming up with Careers Wales and the National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC) to create a sustainable model for cyber cluster members to engage with schools and start working towards closing the skills gap.

The partnership, which will pair organisations with schools from their local area, will mean that your business will benefit from the support of a Careers Wales Business Engagement Advisor (BEA) to manage the relationship, and be able to utilise a tried and tested engagement framework provided by the NDEC, so that all you have to do is show up!

We know cluster members are passionate about engaging with education to help support the cyber industry here in Wales and so we want to make this as easy as possible for you to do, whilst having the greatest impact on pupils.

Come along on the 21st to hear about The Partnership, the engagement framework, and the benefits from getting involved. You will also be introduced to your local Careers Wales Business Engagement Advisor to kick-start the pairing process!

If the response is good and you all see value in this critical skills growth programme then this could be a brand new cyber security cluster in Wales - perhaps it will make a huge difference to the future of our Ecosystem.


14:00 Introduction to the Cluster
- Cyber in Wales - our 'Field of Diamonds'
- The Cyber Industry - Knowledge Areas, Topics, TTPs, Roles and Skills

14:20 Introduction to The Partnership
- Purpose & benefits
- Format
- Best practise

14:35 Careers Wales School Valued Partner Initiative & Business Exchange

14:45 Cyber First Schools & Industry Membership

14:55 Breakout sessions introduction and comfort break

15:05 Meet your BEA breakout sessions
- Businesses assigned to different groups in different rooms
- Introductions & swapping contact details

15:30 Sample a Training Session
- Engagement framework
- Progression pathways into cyber
- Promoting cyber in schools (curriculum links, resources & initiatives)

16:00 Close

Come along on the 21st to hear about The Partnership, the engagement framework, and the benefits from getting involved. You will also be introduced to your local Careers Wales Business Engagement Advisor to kick-start the pairing process!

If the response is good and you all see value in this critical skills growth programme then this could be a brand new cyber security cluster in Wales - perhaps it will make a huge difference to the future of our Ecosystem.

See you all there!

Link to join the event remotely - Teams Invitation

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 20 July 2021

20th July 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


The first ever Cyber Wales event was the newly formed South Wales Cyber Security Cluster meeting which ran in July 2014.

The meeting was officially opened by Dr Emma Philpott from the UK Cyber Security Forum who formally welcomed the new Cluster, the first open cluster to follow in the footsteps of the original Malvern Cyber Security Cluster, and spoke about some success stories of collaborative working in the Malvern Group.

The inaugural guest speaker was Professor Andrew Blyth from the University of South Wales who gave a very entertaining in-depth briefing on some of the forensics and vulnerability projects he has run for the police, GCHQ, government and private bodies in the university's multi-million pound security lab environment.

The meeting was hosted by Urquhart-Dykes & Lord and was attended by three prominent cyber companies namely Pervade Software, Westgate Cyber Security and Skybrid as well as representatives of the South Wales Police Cyber Crime Unit and Welsh Government's ICT Sector Team. Independent cyber security specialist consultants Meirion Morgan and Jeremy Creasey were also there as well as an organisation associated with the cyber community Thomas Carroll Group Plc who were creating cyber insurance cover. Yes, these were the 'Grand Originals' and anyone else who claims they were there is a liar :-).

From these small beginnings our amazing Cyber Wales Ecosystem has grown to become a globally recognised brand with almost 1,000 organisations collaborating and sharing best practice.

This morning, exactly 7 years after we started this journey, we had some fantastic news which is going to be a real game-changer for all of us!!!

At the risk of being a total tease, we - your 9 Cluster Managers - would like to share this news with you at the All Wales Cluster meeting on Tuesday.

We will take some time to reminisce about the highs and lows from last 7 years, let you know what has changed as of this morning, then turn our attention to a very bright future full of new possibilities.

Please come and join us next week and all will be revealed.

See you all there!

Link to the event -

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 15 June 2021

15th June 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


It's all about SKILLS at this month's All Wales Cyber Security Cluster meeting.

Up-Skilling, Cross-Skilling, Re-Skilling, Skills Transfer, the Skills Gap, the Skills Shortage and Cyber Skills Frameworks.

We are going to explore this broad, deep and thorny area of cyber and discuss some of the key issues facing the people and organisations in the industry.

Our guest speaker is from NCSC's Cyber First Skills Team and will be giving us an update on how the various schemes and programmes are doing.

Wales now has a large contingent of Cyber First Ambassadors and we will also hear from one of those Ambassadors who will be able to share some the challenges and successes of our efforts to grow the cyber talent pool in Wales.

Also, "UKC3" the 'UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration' group is launching as we speak. We heard from Richard Yorke, Chair of UKC3, at our March meeting when he gave a presentation on the new Cluster Governance Framework and we will be sharing some very exciting news about this new group which will help all of the Cyber Clusters in Wales!

IN addition, this quarter we have seen the first new Knowledge Areas being 'released for consultation' for CyBOK. This is a comprehensive Cyber Body of Knowledge to inform and underpin education and professional training for the cyber security sector. The CyBOK project aims to bring cyber security into line with the more established sciences by distilling knowledge from major internationally-recognised experts to form a Cyber Security Body of Knowledge that will provide much-needed foundations for this emerging topic.

The CyBOK in Practice virtual showcase event took place on the 2nd of March and was a resounding success, with over 200 attendees. Delegates came from academia, government and other public sector organisations including the NHS and law enforcement, as well as a from a wide range of educational and training bodies, industry, IT firms, consultancies and financial institutions. Delegates enjoyed a variety of presentations, including several CyBOK use cases to highlight how CyBOK can be used in both the professional and academic community. For example: Using CyBOK in the NCSC Cyber Security Degree Certification Programme; and NCSC Certified Training and Government Cyber Security Roles.

So, with the applications of the CyBOK constantly growing, we will also be hearing from Yulia Cherdantseva, Cybersecurity Skills Lead at Cardiff University who is a member of the CyBOK Executive Board.

We will go through the Knowledge Areas and explore how this framework can help with the classification and development of cyber skills.

See you all there!

Link to the event -

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 18 May 2021

18th May 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


An innovative partnership between the police, private sector and academia was launched on the 29th April in Wales to help businesses protect themselves against cybercrime.

The Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales has been funded by the National Police Chiefs’ Council National Cybercrime Programme, which secured £2million of government funding to establish a network on Cyber Resilience Centres (CRCs) across the UK to provide businesses and organisations with an affordable way to access cyber security services and consultancy to help protect themselves from attack.

The Centre will generate income through the supply of a broad mix of products and services. It is a not-for-profit organisation which means all revenue generated will be invested back into helping to keep businesses across Wales safe.

Core Membership is free and provides businesses with access to a range of resources and tools to help them identify risks and vulnerabilities, as well as providing guidance on the steps they can take to increase their levels of protection. The centre will have physical locations in both the north and the south of Wales to allow for easy access for local business.

The centre is headed up by Director Paul Peters, who is a Temporary Detective Superintendent seconded to the centre. Paul has worked closely with businesses across Wales to raise awareness of cyber threats and secure funding from Welsh Government to implement Cyber Protect initiatives across Wales.

Paul also attended the first ever Cyber Security Cluster meeting in Wales back in 2014 and has been a proactive member of the Cyber Wales ecosystem ever since.

At this month's meeting we will be joined by Paul and his colleague Mike Preston, a Detective Inspector who has seen firsthand the serious harm which can be caused by cybercrime and will be managing the WCRC with Paul.

We will hear about how the Centre is being run with input from an Advisory Board, a network of Trusted Partner cyber firms, a Cyber Expert Group of volunteers and selected up-and-coming Cyber Students.

This is a terrific opportunity to explore the ideas and aspirations of this innovative new Centre and find out how the cyber community in Wales can help the team to help support and protect businesses and third sector organisations in the country against cyber-crime.

See you all there!

Link to the event -


11 May 2021 | Two Full Days


CYBERUK 2021 ONLINE is taking place on 11-12 May and will feature an inspiring mix of keynote and panel sessions run live across two days, as well as a selection of pre-recorded content from the NCSC and our sponsors for you to watch in your own time on our branded CYBERUK You Tube channel.

What is CYBERUK?

In its physical form, CYBERUK is attended by 2,500 delegates and is the authoritative event for the UK's cyber security community. It demonstrates what we can do together as teams, as departments and as organisations to deliver a digital United Kingdom that leads the world in cyber resilience.

CYBERUK is an opportunity for the cyber security community to meet, discuss business needs, review the changing threat landscape and clarify their responsibilities.

CYBERUK events have a reputation for their energy, informality and ability to break down barriers. In 2021, participants from different sectors have the chance to virtually interact and collaborate online to solve real world problems.

Who should attend?

Strategy & Leadership Community: This event is attended by those with overall responsibility for cyber security in government departments and across central and wider government. There will also be a strong industry presence from across the UK and worldwide.

Cyber Security Professionals: Attendees will also include technology and cyber security professionals at all levels from across the public sector, Critical National Infrastructure and industry. All those who work in technology, digital security, procurement and data will come together and share the cyber security challenges they all face.

Day One Tuesday 11th May

  • 09:15-10:45 Opening Plenary - Day one
    * Welcome & introduction: Lindy Cameron, CEO, NCSC
    * Keynote: Jeremy Fleming, Director, GCHQ
    * Industry Keynote: Speaker Adam Palser, Ollie Whitehouse, NCC Group
    * Fireside Chat: Sudhakar Ramakrishna, CEO, SolarWinds and Paul Chichester, Director of Operations, NCSC
    * Panel Discussion: Lindy Cameron, Paul Chichester & Dr. Ian Levy, NCSC
  • 11:00-12:00 Supporting the development of secure connected places - a conversation
    Connected Places, often known as ‘Smart Cities’, can use data and interconnected systems to benefit the environment, increase efficiency and improve services. Gathering, processing and using this data can, however, create risks to privacy and, potentially, safety. This session, chaired by DCMS, will bring together those involved in the development, deployment and security of Connected Places for a discussion of the varied opportunities and risks presented by such environments.
  • 12:00-13:00 Professionalising cyber security: Building a firm foundation in education and skills
    The provision of education and skills development in the UK is extensive, with a variety of organisations and bodies providing courses and professional certifications that are relevant to cyber security. The Initial National Cyber Security Skills Strategy document, outlined the need for a new, independent body to lay the structural foundations of the cyber security profession.
    Key to this ambition to professionalise the cyber security skills sector is the creation of the UK Cyber Security Council, a self-regulatory body for the industry that will serve as the voice for the profession and a focal point for education, training, skills and ethics in the sector.
    Bringing together speakers from the Council’s leadership, industry and government the panel will address key questions and issues affecting the sector today that will be focus areas for the Council.
    Moderator: Dr Ian Levy
    * Matt Warman MP, Minister for Digital Infrastructure
    * Dr Claudia Natanson, Chair -Board of Trustees, UK Cyber Security Council
    * Andrew Elliot, DD Cyber Security Innovation and Skills, DCMS
    * Virginia Hodge, Director, Heron Associates
    * Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for Cyber Skills and Growth, NCSC
  • 13:15-13:30 Ministerial address (tbc)
  • 13:45-14:30 Developments in Active Cyber Defence
    This session will focus on key ACD tools & services developed particularly in support of the UK COVID-19 response including:
    * Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS)
    * The NCSC Takedown Service
    * Early Warning
    * Logging Made Easy
    * Vulnerability Disclosure Toolkit
    * Exercise in a Box (EiaB)
    * MyNCSC
  • 14:30-15:30 Protecting consumer accounts: The role organisations play
    We will hear from industry representatives about the steps that are being taken to secure accounts – both behind the scenes to minimise the security burden on consumers and through the provision of empowering security advice communicated directly to consumers. This will be discussed against the backdrop of the evolving online threat to consumers as we explore the real world impact that cyber crime and cyber-enabled fraud is having on victims.
    Moderator: Nicola Hudson, Director Policy and Communications, NCSC
    * Kate Bevan, Editor, Which? Computing
    * Kevin Brown, Managing Director, BT Security
    * George Mudie, CISO, ASOS
    * Andrew Gould, Detective Chief Superintendent City of London Police
  • 15:45-16:30 Raising the bar across the UK – The economic and security impact of the Cyber Essentials scheme
    Focussing on Cyber Essentials and the impact it can have – both from a security and economic perspective. A case study of a women's refuge centre will be used to illustrate the importance of Cyber Essentials in the charity sector, where there may be a low technical understanding but high levels of threat. The growing ecosystem of local cyber security businesses across the UK driven by Cyber Essentials will also be explored.
  • 16:45-17:45 Protecting the NHS from ransomware during Covid-19
    We will close the first day of the event with a panel which takes a look back at the increased threat to health from ransomware during Covid 19. The panel will discuss the national collaboration between NCSC, NHSX, and NHS Digital as well as hear a local perspective on protecting the NHS and consider the local impact of national work.
    Paul Maddinson, Director Resilience and Strategy, NCSC
    * Ian McCormack, NCSC
    * Karen Dooley DD Cyber Security NHSX
    * Neil Bennett, NHS Digital
    * Steven Chilton, University Hospital Birmingham
Day Two Wednesday 12th May

  • 10:00-10:45 Opening Plenary – Day two
    * Welcome & review of Day One: Lindy Cameron, CEO, NCSC
    * The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
    * John Lambert - Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center
  • 11:15-12:00 How do you solve a problem like cyber security for consumer devices? 'Secure by Design'
    Securing the landscape of consumer internet-connected devices is complex. It involves a multifaceted and pragmatic approach that can iterate over time, bringing together governments, standard bodies, industry and the security research community. In this session, the UK government will provide an insight into its Secure by Design programme of work, including an update on the proposed regulatory approach, the new European Standard on IoT security and the role of assurance schemes in implementation and compliance.
    The consumer association Which? and a representative of both Arm and the IoT Security Foundation will provide an insight into what more could and is being done, beyond legislation, to secure the devices of the future. <\li>
  • 12:15-13:00 Oh that was clever! When even jaded incident responders are impressed
    Join the NCSC’s Tech Director for Incident Management for a tour of some of the interesting technical aspects that have exercised (and perhaps grudgingly impressed) our incident management team over the last year. Unsurprisingly, there will be a lot of discussion of UNC2452 this year!
  • 13:15-14:00 Accelerating and Securing Cyber Innovation and Growth
    Alumni companies from the NCSC’s Cyber Accelerator programme will share their experiences of being a start-up in the UK, talking about the ups and downs and the support they have received to give a deeper understanding of their personal journeys. Chaired by NCSC’s DD Cyber Skills & Growth, Chris Ensor, they will also be joined on the panel by Andrew Elliot, DD Cyber Security Innovation and Skills at DCMS, who will talk about what the UK Government is doing to ‘build back better’ and an NCSC representative who will talk about the new start-up guidance launched in May 2021 and how this ties to the National Security and Investment Bill.
  • 14:00-15:00 In conversation with…
    * Emily Taylor, Chatham House, faciliates a conversation between:
    * Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, White House
    * Beth Sizeland, Deputy National Security Advisor
    * Lindy Cameron, CEO, NCSC
  • 15:30-16:30 Ransomware, the risk to schools and ways to prevent it
    This session which is being run by NCSC and the Department for Education will focus on ransomware, following a recent spate of ransomware attacks against the education sector. There will be an overview of ransomware and an exploration of how to back-up school data, and the NCSC Incident Management team will talk about managing a ransomware incident in a school or trust, ending with a high-level panel discussion on cyber resilience in the education sector.
  • 16:30-17:35 Emerging cyber trends – the expert view
    This closing panel will reflect on the content shared over the two days at CYBERUK 2021 ONLINE. Panellists will take the opportunity to look back at recent cyber trends; consider what cyber challenges may face us in the coming years; and what we can do collectively to tackle these threats.
    Moderator: Eleanor Fairford, Deputy Director, NCSC
    * Paul Chichester, Director of Operations, NCSC
    * Dr. Ian Levy, Technical Director, NCSC
    * Graeme Biggar, Director General National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), National Crime Agency
On Demand content

The following content will be available to view on demand from 11 May onwards:
  • Refreshing the 10 Steps To Cyber Security
  • Understanding Cyber Crises - Sarah Backman
  • Cyber Security for Small Organisations
  • Securing the Future: Emerging Technology and Futures Literacy
  • Preparing the UK for a Secure Future in Quantum Technology
  • Industry discuss their experiences and benefits of being part of the NCSC’s CyberFirst programme
  • How to make a difference locally
*Please note this agenda is subject to change

See you all there!

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 20 April 2021

20th April 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


Swansea University has launched a new £5.6m initiative within the University’s Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law (where we have run a number of Cyber Wales Cluster meetings over the years) called the Legal Innovation Lab Wales

The operation is a transformative research and development facility that supports collaboration between law firms, technology companies and security organisations, encouraging innovation in LegalTech, access to justice, and counterterrorism.

The Lab seeks to:-

  • Drive the development of a vibrant LegalTech sector in Wales;
  • Support the development of toolkits that enhance the business of law and access to justice, and
  • Enable the development of technological platforms and frameworks to support counterterrorism and security.

Supported by researchers and an in-house software development team, Legal Innovation Lab Wales encourages collaboration between academia, law firms, technology companies and other organisations.

Ben Riseborough, Project Manager at Legal Innovation Lab, will open with a couple of slides detailing the Legal Innovation Lab Wales project as a whole.

Stefano Barazza, Senior Lecturer of Law who has provided IP training for the staff of the UK Intellectual Property Office, will follow up with more information on the LegalTech side of things.

Sara Correia, Lecturer in Cyber Threats with research interests in Cybercrime, Fraud, Victimisation and Fear of Crime (who has been part of the Cyber Wales Ecosystem since it first began) will talk about the Cyber threats research centre.

As well as giving an overview of their activities, the team will include information on actual collaborations that they have already entered into with external partners, in order to showcase some examples of the kind of projects they are looking for.

If you have an idea for a new product or service that might support access to justice, legal services or the cyber threats work, the team would love to hear from you so pop along and join the session to find out more.

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 16 March 2021

16th March 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


The Cyber Security Clusters in the UK are evolving and the UK Government wants to help!

Cyber crime is still growing and cyber professionals from all over the world are constantly thinking of new ways to enlighten people and organisations to the threat whilst trying to keep up with bigger and more damaging cyber attacks. Cyber Security Clusters have proved their value time and again as a way to spread information and intelligence, share best practice and help cyber companies to form, join the fight and grow. Some of these Clusters pay a heavy price however if they fail to lay solid foundations, don't do the best for their members, don't manage themselves properly or become self-serving and we have seen Clusters form, flounder and die-off on the front lines of this battle.

Over the last year or so a number of the UK Cyber Clusters have been working behind the scenes with DCMS to explore ways to help Clusters to be more stable and help them to provide better services to their members with support from the UK Government. The Cluster Working Group has been developing an Operating Framework which will provide a foundation for new Clusters to adopt and to standardise the way existing Clusters work.

Richard Yorke, a founder member and director of Cyber Cheltenham CIC (CyNam) who is recognised in the cyber industry for being the founder of Deep3, formed in 2014, which grew and thrived and was acquired by CACI Ltd in 2019. Richard has coordinated the Cluster Working Group to the point where the Framework has been accepted by the majority of Clusters and by DCMS who are working towards a Governance Model that will enable UK Government to provide formal funding for some cluster activities.

We are looking forward to hearing from Richard all about this important work that demonstrates that the Clusters of the UK are rallying around a common vision and mission and, through doing this, aligning themselves much more closely with UK Govt and the Depts that support the cyber community.

In addition...

Tracy Buckingham, Deputy Director Operations and Head of Security and Cyber Exports within DIT DSO who has also worked on MoD and Counter Terrorism projects will be joining us along with Peter Thompson, Assistant Director for Cyber Security Exports who has also served as a Home Office Policy Lead.

Together Tracy and Peter have carved out a dedicated place for Cyber Security within the Defense and Security Organisation in DIT which has paved the way for new and exciting opportunities for cyber companies interesting in exploring new markets.

So we can also look forward to a briefing and the first of many updates as this new era of cyber export possibilities.

See you all there.

Link to the Richard's Slides - Here

PwC TechEnableWales event for Wales in London Week - 4 March 2021

4th March 2021 | 17:00 - 18:00

Online Event

Following the success of PwC Wales' Trade event last year, and as part of our continued sponsorship of Wales Week London we will be hosting a virtual #TechEnableWales Cyber event on Thursday 4 March from 5-6pm.

Wales Week London takes place from 20th February to 7th March, and is an annual showcase of activities and events that celebrate and promote everything great about Wales. We're really excited to be putting on this virtual event to champion and celebrate all things cyber in Wales.

Joining PwC Wales' Cyber Director's Rhodri Evans and Stuart Criddle will be John Davies and Jason Davies, Directors of CyberWales, and Pete Burnap, Professor of Data Science & Cybersecurity at Cardiff University.

As well as hearing about PwC Wales' investment in cyber capability, you will hear about the latest trends, why Wales is the perfect home to set up a cyber company, and how companies and educational institutions are working in partnership to feed the growth of the cyber industry in Wales.

There will also be an opportunity to ask our panelists questions and share your own personal experiences of this burgeoning sector.

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 16 February 2021

16th February 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


Here we are, knee deep in another Covid Lockdown we decided to talk about business growth opportunities.

Many small businesses, who managed to survive the first wave of Covid, are suffering more this time round. What we need now are ideas, encouragement and being pointed in the right direction to help find innovative new ways to market ourselves, identify and attract prospects and generate revenue in this strange new business environment.

We were joined by The Development Banc of Wales which was formed 20 years ago and are committed to helping.

The Banc's stated aim is to unlock potential in the economy of Wales by increasing the provision of sustainable, effective finance in the market. They achieve this by directing public funds to where they can have most impact - on a larger scale, at a faster speed, and in a sustainable way.

Simon Thelwall-Jones, Director of Technology Ventures and his colleague David Blake, Investment Executive gave a presentation about the Banc, the criteria used to decide which companies to help and the processes involved in an engagement.

Simon has worked in the venture capital/private equity industry since the early 1990s. During his career he has had both new investment and portfolio roles, and also been involved in corporate M&A, for both private and public companies, creating substantial value for SME/corporate stake holders.

David Blake is a fully qualified member and fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants who has worked in the power generation, ad-tech, medical device and defence industries. He has previously developed a block-chain based application as well as started a software as a service (SaaS) accountancy reporting business.

We also made time for an open chat and shared ideas and experiences to help your fellow Cluster members.

Link to the Slides used at the event - (DBW Slide Deck)

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster Meeting - a look back at 2020

19th January 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00


For our first meeting of this New Year we are going to merge the CTF Cluster meeting with the All Wales Cyber Security Cluster meeting to run a really unusual joint session.

"That was the year that was" - those of you of a certain age will know what year Tom Lehrer was describing in his famous album but I'm sure he would agree that 2020 was a strange year for everyone. It has been a challenge for many people and a growth opportunity for others. There are some great examples of people pulling together during the year along with some heart-warming success stories in the Cyber Wales Ecosystem and indeed, Cyber Wales istelf has grown and developed in ways we could not have predicted.

We are going to have a positive and good-natured look back on 2020. We will canter through the year looking at it from the perspective of both the Oldest Cyber Cluster in Wales and the Newest Cyber Cluster in Wales and chat about the speakers, the venues and the things that were going on around us as the year progressed.

For example:-

  • British Cyber Ambassador to the USA
  • CIISEC and the doomed 6 Nations
  • NHS Call to Arms
  • Cyber in the British Armed Forces
  • HackTheBox, VulnHub & Immersive Labs
  • HARMA Virus and SMBGhost
  • GlobalWelsh
  • Germany, the Middle East and Japan
  • Launch of Cyber Coleg Cymru
  • Wrexham and Cardiff and USW CTFs
  • Digital Wales, NDEC
  • UK National Police Cyber
  • Digital Leaders
  • Cyber Innovation Showcase
  • Finding missing persons in the USA
  • Learning to pass OCSP from OWASP
  • and of course the NCSC who saved us all 100 times over and we didn't event know it!

For those of you who were at the meetings, this will be a wonderful reminder of the fun we had.

For those of you who didn't manage to get to all the meetings, this will be a chance to see all of the amazing things that have happened to the people and the organisations that make up the Cyber Wales Ecosystem in all our crazy diversity.

So, if you are wondering what to do next Tuesday afternoon that will make you smile, then feel free to join in this open and interactive homage to the year that never was at the next Cyber Wales Cluster session.

Link to the event -

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 15 December 2020

15th December 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


At the end of the strangest of years we will be rounding off 2020 with a jam-packed cyber session and we'll be expecting to see you all in Xmas jumpers munching mince pies (or Welsh Cakes!).

We will be welcoming the SANS Institute back to the Cluster this month. Steve Armstrong will be joining us, he is a SANS Principle Instructor on Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking, which he learnt while serving in the RAF, securing wireless networks under attack while in a warzone with full body armour, loaded weapons, and hacking gear in 50+ degree centigrade heat. As you can imagine, Steve is a truly fascinating speaker.

As most of you probably already know, SANS is the most trusted and by far the largest source for information security training and security certification in the world, each year, SANS programs educate more than 30,000 people. When they made the decision to expand into Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and the Baltics they chose to locate their HQ right here in Wales and they have been a proactive member of the Cluster since we formed.

They qualify to GIAC, the gold standard of certifications in the cyber industry which does make their courses reassuringly expensive. But they also develop, maintain, and make available at no cost, the largest collection of research documents about various aspects of information security, and they operates the Internet's early warning system - the Internet Storm Center.

When COVID struck and so many people found themselves forced into lockdown, furlough or even out of work entirely, they converting many of their programmes, such as their SANS Foundations programmes, into self-study and pushing more re-skilling advice and guidance out to people who need it.

In addition, we will hear from long-standing Cluster member Simon Renault.

Back in 2014, when the first Cluster formed, Simon was in Welsh Government responsible for the portfolio management of the cross-cutting Digital Wales agenda. We continued to work closely when he helped form Innovation Point and led on Digital Skills projects helping Wales to address the digital skills gap as Head of Special Projects. Since going back into Welsh Government last year, SImon has been driving the establishment of the new Centre for Digital Public Services supporting the Welsh public sector.

After giving us a taster of what the Centre is all about at the Cluster meeting in October, Simon will provide a proper briefing on the latest of his ground-breaking initiatives and let us know how we can all get involved.

We also have lots of news and updates to share so we are looking forward to a jam-packed session to round off a really grotty year!

See you all there!

Link to the event -

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 17 November 2020

17th November 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


This month's All Wales Cyber Security Cluster meeting welcomed NCSC's Cyber First Schools team to tell about this amazing programme.

The NCSC has recognised the importance of equipping our young people with the skills and knowledge to exploit technology safely and securely. As part of this, the NCSC runs the CyberFirst Programme, which offers a range of activities helping young people explore their passion for technology and computing by introducing them to the world of Cyber Security.

The CyberFirst Schools initiative is open to schools and colleges in Wales. It recognises schools and colleges who are taking the lead in encouraging their students to undertake Computer Science and computing related qualifications, providing learning on Cyber Security concepts and encouraging them to pursue career paths into the Cyber Security profession. Schools and Colleges apply for recognition and can be awarded by the NCSC either at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, depending upon their level of attainment.

To support these striving schools, the CyberFirst programme has a wide range of organisations drawn from industry, academia and government that provide support to its activities. The Team gave us an overview of the programme and discussed how individuals and businesses can get involved.

We were also joined by Diana Spehar, Programme Manager for the NCSC's Cyber Accelerator who told us all about the Accelerator's Cohort 7.

Wayra's  acceleration programme run in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre and Telefonica currently has an Open Call with an exciting theme of "Security in Smart Cities". We also partner with Microsoft and our 5G accelerator, 5prinG, to bring extra value and support to the founders.

Open call and detailed challenges link:

NCSC Accelerator Benefits:

  • 10-week equity-free acceleration programme starting end of January 2021
  • Part-time commitment
  • Access to NCSC Cyber Security experts
  • Access to Telefonica’s and 11Paths Cyber Security and Smart City experts
  • Access to Microsoft experts and 5prinG programme
  • Business development opportunities with Telefonica and O2 if right fit
  • Potential Scaling Stipend from NCSC
  • Free!
Throw in the usual updates, news and opportunities for Cluster members and this was a cracking Cluster meeting - here is the video of the meeting...

Cyber Wales Innovation Showcase - 15 October 2020

15th October 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


This event is being run as part of Digital Leaders Week 2020
With the title "Cyber Wales Innovation Showcase".

Cyber Wales is a representative body with the aim of being the Heart and the Voice of the cyber Communities in Wales.

The Management Team and Cluster Managers all strive to provide a platform for Members to find Guidance, share News, ideas and best practice, to encourage collaboration through Clusters, Events and Competitions and to identify Opportunities for the cyber Communities in Wales to thrive and grow.

In line with these aims, submissions are now open for the Cyber Wales competition to find the Most Innovative Cyber Security Company in Wales.

This competition is open to any SME (less than 50 employees and less than £10million turnover), headquartered in Wales with an innovative PRODUCT or SERVICE that contributes to the battle against the rising cyber threat.

We are looking to find Welsh businesses that are innovating in the cyber security space and this web-session will be an opportunity for early entrants to present their ideas and pitch their products and/or services.

Any other organisations who watch these innovators present, who then think that their innovation is worth submitting will also have a chance to make a submission during the last Quarter of the year before judging takes place in early 2021.

Cyber Wales is working in partnership with DCMS, NCSC and ECSO to offer the winner:-

  • The Award for Most Innovative Cyber Company in Wales 2020.

  • A stall in the Cyber Innovation Zone at CyberUK 2021 in Newport where the winner will join 11 other

  • companies selected by DCMS as part of the CyberDen Competition.

  • The opportunity to pitch at the CyberDen Competition taking place at CyberUK 2021.

  • The opportunity to spend a week at the NCSC Cyber Accelerator in Cheltenham.

  • An opportunity to go on to compete in the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) Innovation

  • Competition being held across Europe early next year.
If you think what you are doing is innovative and/or you'd just like to see some of the cyber solutions being innovated in Wales then come along to this relaxed and open showcase event and judge for yourself.

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 13 October 2020

13th October 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


This event was run as part of Digital Leaders Week 2020
With the title "Innovative new National Police Cyber Crime Initiatives".

Cyber Wales were delighted to host a very special guest speaker at the All Wales Cyber Security Cluster Webinar.

Andrew Gould, Detective Superintendent and National Cybercrime Programme Lead is working with a Welsh cyber security vendor to roll out a far-reaching new programme called 'Police Cyber Alarm'. This free tool is being rolled out by Police Forces and Regional Organised Crime Units to help organisationa who volunteer for the scheme to understand and monitor malicious cyber activity. Working in conjunction with the new Police Cyber Resilience Centres, this platform is launching with two services: monitoring and vulnerability scanning. However, work is already underway to develop innovative new capability to help organisations protect themselves.

Rhi Buckler, Cyber Crime Prevent & Protect Officer at TARIAN Regional Cyber Crime Unit opened the meeting and set the scene for this talk by giving an update on the recent changes in the TARIAN Team and an overview of some of the projects and initiatives that are going on in Wales.

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 15 September 2020

15th September 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


Cyber Wales are delighted to welcome the NDEC Team and TechNation to give us some updates at our September All Wales Cluster meeting.

"Just when you thought it was safe to back in the water..." or should that read "safe to go out and about meeting people", we start to see signs of the much predicted second wave!

This doesn't bother us jolly cyber folks though because our All Wales Cyber Security Cluster meeting this month will once again be a web-session.

The National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC) in Ebbw Vale haven't been resting during the lockdown either and they will be providing us with an update of what they have been doing. Including:

  • Opening the Centre by Ken Skates the Ecomony Minister in February;
  • Joining the Ventilator Challenge UK in March;
  • Providing their threat analysis service free to NHS Wales in April;
  • Involvement in the launch of Cyber Coleg Cymru in May;
  • Running the cyber security industry in Wales 'Videothon' in June;
  • Running demos of their Cyber Lab in July; and
  • Forging partnerships with Cluster members such as Awen in August
We can't wait to find out what they are planning for the rest of the year.

We will also be hearing from Gino Brancazio at TechNation about 3 brand new Programme they are launching.

Along with a bucketload of News & Opportunities there will be something for everyone at this Summertime Cluster meeting.

See you all there!

Link to the event -

CIISec Branch Webinar - 19 August 2020

19th August 2020 | 16:30 - 17:30

Online Event

Cyber Wales are proud to be hosting a Branch Meeting of the Chartered Institute of Information Security Professionals once again in August.

CIISec Branch meetings are "members only" events but, like the last meeting we held with CIISec in February, Cyber Wales members are welcome to attend - please contact Sophie Baker to arrange registration.


Carwyn Edwards, Systems Architect and Software Engineer at Bangor University, Co-Founder of North Wales Tech

Carwyn Edwards is a Software and Systems Architect specialising in the design and deployment of complex IT systems and infrastructure. He has over 15 years of experience building and running large scale IT systems.

Carwyn is one of the founders of “North Wales Tech” an initiative to create “A Technology and Developer Community for North Wales”. The core aims are to foster a culture and community spanning all forms of technology interests in North Wales and show that such communities are not limited to the big cities. The group run “Tech Talks” events, workshops and social activities in North Wales to bring the community together and promote North Wales as a location for the technology industry.

In 2019, Carwyn headed up the "Year of IoT (Internet of Things)" project through North Wales Tech working with individuals and organisations across multiple industries including agriculture, tourism, social care, local authority and buildings management to explore the possibilities of IoT uses in new applications.

Carwyn will be discussing this project and the potential impacts of the emerging 5G technologies on projects of this nature in the coming years.

Chris Powell, Research Director at CODA Labs

CODA Labs and CODA Security are a group of companies providing cybersecurity services to businesses worldwide. Chris is Research Director and Principal Consultant specialising in telecommunications hacking, automotive security and IoT testing.

He previously worked as a vulnerability researcher exploiting biometrics and smart cards for the UK government. Chris then moved on to hacking Huawei devices running the cellular and fixed-line networks at Huawei Cyber Security Evaluations Center (HCSEC).

If you want to find 0-days in 5G networks, reverse engineer autonomous cars or assure your favourite IoT toy. Then Chris is the one to help.

All Wales & Education Cyber Security Cluster - 18 August 2020

18th August 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


Four Cyber Security Clusters came together for a WUNDERBAR Summer meeting this month

The Cyber Wales Ecosystem were delighted to be hosting the Cyber Security Cluster Bonn, who are based in the North Rhine-Westphalia Region of Germany.

This most Western area of Germany, which includes major industrial centres such as Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne as well as Bonn is the same distance from London as Holyhead - less than 300 miles and just over an hour on a plane. We heard from Andrew Harfoot, the London-based representative of NRW.INVEST, the state-owned economic development agency who conduct international marketing for the Region. Andrew's slides can be downloaded here

We also had a talk from Christian Schmickler of the Cyber Security Cluster Bonn which was founded in October 2018. It is an innovative IT security cluster which aims to increase implementation focus of Cyber Security, especially for SMEs, through conferences and events including their flagship "Cyber Security Tech Summit Europe" which was running as a virtual-conference two days after our meeting. The Cluster also bundles cooperations of research, industry, and public authorities in the field of cyber security, focusing on initiation of targeted research projects and active transformation of the latest research results into practice. Christian's slides can be downloaded here

This academic research focus was of particular interest to the members of our very own Education & Training Cluster who joining us to hear about the activities in Bonn and present some of the intitiatives in our own Welsh Universities.

It was fantastic to combine the Education & Training Cluster with the North Wales Cluster and the South Wales Cluster for the first time for what turned out to be an exciting mix of business and academic opportunities between Wales and Germany.

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 21 July 2020

21st July 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


Cyber Wales are delighted to welcome the Founder of GlobalWelsh, Walter May to join us at our July all Wales Cluster meeting.

Some of you may remember the last time Cyber Wales joined forces with GlobalWelsh to host an Academy Masterclass for ten top Welsh cyber-security companies last year. The event was run by Welsh-born Clearswift CEO Heath Davies, who invited 18 business leaders from ten Welsh cyber-security companies to join him and members of his executive management team for an intensive interactive masterclass to explore ideas and solutions to their specific growth challenges.

This is a great example of the work of GlobalWelsh, a grassroots not-for-profit organisation dedicated to connecting Wales to its global diaspora to bring about new connections, opportunities and ideas that will enrich the lives of Welsh people all over the world (GlobalWelsh now has members in 45 countries).

Despite being home to some of the UK's most innovative start-ups and promising entrepreneurs, Wales falls far behind the rest of the UK when it comes to raising capital (Equity deals completed in Wales represented just 3% of the number of UK equity investments according to Economic Intelligence Wales, April 2019). Keeping up to date with the Welsh investment landscape is hard. Talent is scattered, information is fragmented and opportunities are lost. GlobalWelsh want to change this by bringing together investors and business founders in Wales and offer entrepreneurs and investors the opportunities they deserve.

Walter May, Founder of GlobalWelsh, will join us and give an overview of GlobalWelsh, an update on GlobalWelsh activities and some specific information about the funding opportunities available.

We will also be joined by the NCSC Lead for CyberFirst who will be providing a briefing on the new CyberFirst Schools Programme.

Since 2018, the NCSC has been piloting a Cyber Schools Hub (CSH) programme in Gloucestershire. The CSH has encouraged collaboration between local schools, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), national and local companies and organisations who share the aim of encouraging young people to engage with computer science and the application of cyber security in every day technology.

The CSH pilot has proved to be successful at a local level and the NCSC now wishes to increase the scale of ambition and formally recognise schools who are committed to providing a structured approach to excellence in cyber security education. The CyberFirst Schools programme will initially be limited to schools in Gloucestershire and Wales.

We will also have updates on the business opportunities emerging from the UAE and Germany as Cyber Wales international collaboration continues to expand.

See you all there!

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - June 2020

16th June 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


It had been a busy time for Cyber Security Professionals trying to run businesses during a lockdown, amid upheaval in our working practices and the ever-present threat of a debilitating illness.

So we thought we'd give everyone a chance to pause for a few moments to look at some of the latest threats to see what is hitting our companies and clients businesses and explore how we can help them.

Two weeks ago and NHS Trust in England was hit by the HARMA Virus, a derivative of the infamous Dharma Virus (which the FBI ranked as being the second highest earning ransomware of all time) but the code had been changed to better exploit RDP in response to the massive increase in home workers and remote sites.

This week the NHS were hit again by the SMBleed Virus, a sister to the SMBGhost Virus (also called CoronaBlue) a nasty Remote Code Execution hack. A PoC for SMBGhost was recently released which prompted heated debate about the advisability of sharing working code for such dangerous hacks when organisations are stretched so thin, with staff and resource issues and, in the case of the NHS with other things on their minds!

The session this month was an informal presentation of some background information to these attacks and an opportunity to ask technical questions about them and explore ways to mitigate against them, monitor and identify them and recover from them.

The meeting was run as a webinar and more than 70 attendees from the Cyber Wales Ecosystem, including overseas partners, joined in to help make this a relaxed and chatty session.

All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - May 2020

19th May 2020 | 14:00 - 16:00


The Coronavirus had successfully scuppered the last two Cyber Security Cluster meetings in both the North and the South but life went on and so much had been happening we thought it was time to get together, albeit virtually, for a catch-up.

Although North & South Wales members gather together over video link every month for the Capture the Flag Cluster meetings, this is not something we had done much of at the main Regional meetings. I fact, the last time the Cluster combined for an All Wales Cluster meeting was back in June 2017 in the glorious sunshine and seaside atmosphere of Aberystwyth.

This time, from the glorious sunshine of our own back gardens and in true "catch-up" style, we had a series of updates from various cyber powerhouses including:-

Faheem Azhar, the Cyber Wales Representative in the United Arab Emirates provided an update on how the relationship between the Cyber Wales Ecosystem and the Emirates has progressed and described the basis of the new Memorandum of Understanding and some of the opportunities for Cluster members in the coming year.

Ben Shaps, the Head of Cyber Growth in the Cyber Security & Digital Identity Directorate at the Department for Digital Culture, Media & Sport summarised all of the great work that has been going on over the last year or so to bring the Government closer to the Cyber Security Clusters in the UK and detailed some new initiatives to help cyber companies to grow.

Andrew Roughan, the MD of Plexal who run the LORCA Accelerator gave an overview of what the next batch of companies in Cohort 5 will be doing as part of the Accelerator programme. This highly successful cyber accelerator funded by DCMS and delivered by Plexal, Deloitte and CSIT has seen 4 previous cohorts of companies crystalise their cyber offerings and make rapid growth gains, including Cyber Wales clusters members so it was great to get a closer look at exactly what companies go through.

Dr Scott Morgan, the Digital Lead at Bridgend College and Project Lead for Cyber College Cymru gave an overview of this brand new partnered initiative that creates pathways into a digital career in cyber. Working closely with Cyber Wales (that means you!), students will meet industry leaders and professionals in cyber (yes, you again!) and tackle challenges you may have. (this initiative was subsequently launched the following Wednesday in a web-session run jointly with the Cyber Wales CTF Cluster meeting)

Nick Lambe, the MD of Gordalex told us about his efforts to lobby UK Government back at the start of the COVID outbreak about the lack of a coherent technology to call for volunteers including location services & security of private data and how this led to a proposal to start a new tech security company, Certifr Ltd, during the COVID lockdown rather than wait until after the crisis.

And, if that wasn't enough, we had updates on how the NHS Wales Call to Action went, how Cyber Wales has been helping the Armed Forces and Welsh Colleges as well as a run through of some of the opportunities on the website.

Well, I did say that we had a lot of catching up to do!

North Wales Cyber Security Cluster - August 2019

17th October 2019 | 14:00 - 16:00


North Wales Cyber Security Cluster was pleased to once again welcome NCSC to discuss the latest initiatives & plans for CyberUK 2020 in Wales.

This presentation included discussing some of the current guidance and initiatives from NCSC along with plans for bringing the UK Government's Flagship Cyber Security Event (CyberUK) to Wales in 2020.

In addition to hearing from NCSC, we also heard from Nigel Houlden and Leanne Davies from Glyhndwr University about the opportunities for experts and students to get involved in both the Cyber First Competition as well as Skills Competition Wales and World Skills 2023.

There was plenty of opportunity for attendees to ask questions of our speakers and as usual there was lots of time for networking.

Below is more detail about the NCSC and what they do.

The NCSC was set up to help protect our critical services from cyber attacks, managing major incidents and improve the underlying security of the UK Internet through technological improvement and advice to citizens and organisations. Their vision is to help make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

Who we are

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK’s authority on cyber security. We are a part of GCHQ. The NCSC brings together and replaces CESG (the information security arm of GCHQ), the Centre for Cyber Assessment (CCA), Computer Emergency Response Team UK (CERT UK) and the cyber-related responsibilities of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).

The NCSC has access to some of the most sophisticated capabilities available to government. We acknowledge the sensitivity of these resources, whilst working to make the benefits of our expertise as widely available as possible. Further information is available by downloading and reading the NCSC overview.

How we work

The NCSC is open and accessible. We work collaboratively with other government agencies and departments, law enforcement, defence, the UK’s intelligence and security agencies and our international partners. We recognise the value of diversity and different perspectives and bring together a unique range of talents, skills and experience to tackle the hardest cyber security challenges that we face.

We are expert and look to the future. We exchange talent with other organisations through secondments and interchanges; this allows us to foster the technical innovation needed to succeed in an ever changing landscape.

Join Now

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