South Wales Cyber Security Cluster

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About the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster

The South Wales Cyber Security Cluster has been formed, under the umbrella of the UK Cyber Security Forum, by Pervade Software Ltd and Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP.

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

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 -

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!

South Wales Cyber Security Cluster - February 2020

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

Principality Stadium, St David's Lounge, Westgate Street, Cardiff, CF10 1NS

Yes, it was 6 Nations time again and as we have done for the last 5 years, we visited the hallowed ground of the Principality Stadium and ran our meeting in the South Stand Suite overlooking the sacred pitch. The game against Italy was a terrific start to this year's competition but then the Ireland game was a turn for the worst so we were all looking forward to an exciting (and successful?) Championship again this year.

The meeting itself was a special one as well - we were hosting our friends and colleagues from the Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec) for the first time.

Many of us are already members but for those who didn't know, the organisation used to be called the IISP (Institute of Information Security Professionals) and they changed their name last year when they were granted Royal Charter status which was a terrific achievement for this team who are dedicated to raising the standard of professionalism in information security.

CIISec represents professionalism, integrity and excellence within information and cyber security their principal objectives are:- • To promote, for the public benefit, the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of information security • To develop high ethical standards for practitioners in information security and to promote professional standards in the UK and overseas • To act as an authoritative body for the purpose of consultation and research in matters of education or public interest concerning information security

As you can see, these objectives compliment the aims of the Cyber Wales Ecosystem and the Welsh Clusters and we were delighted to have the opportunity to work more closely with them.

This collaboration was orchestrated by our own Steve John from Coast Consultants who has been a proactive member of our Steering Group for many years and continues to drive the West Wales agenda for Cyber Wales. Steve is also very active in CIISec and has been helping them to formulate a regular presence in Wales as they continue to expand and grow.

At the meeting we heard from Amanda Finch, CEO of CIISec who told us all about their journey to reach the chartered status, the services they provide for their members as well as their ideas and plans for the future.

We gave a big warm welcome to our colleagues from CIISec and had another cracking meeting, chatting about all things cyber while staring in awe at the Pitch where dreams are made [sigh!]

South Wales Cyber Security Cluster - January 2020

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

National Cyber Security Academy, University of South Wales, Newport, Wales, NP20 2BP

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda pawb - Happy New Year everyone!

We had a very special Cluster meeting lined up to kick off the new decade.

Andy Williams, Cyber Advisor for the Department for International Trade Defence and Security Organisation came back to Wales to give us a briefing on some of the fantastic programmes coming up this year.

I say "coming back" because Andy is a staunch Welshman who has been a proactive supporter of the Cyber Wales Clusters since they were first formed, even while he has been travelled the world as a Cyber Envoy.

From 2008 to 2012 he was the U.S. government's international trade advisor on cyber security at the American Embassy in London and then, from 2015 to 2017, he served as the UK government's first Cyber Envoy to the U.S. at the British Embassy in Washington DC, where he helped over 100 UK cyber companies with their U.S. business expansion activities. He also acts as a selector and mentor on various government-funded cyber incubator, accelerator and business support programmes.

Andy is also an independent management consultant who specialises in advising cybersecurity business leaders on transatlantic expansion so members who have aspirations in the US markets took the opportunity to chat with Andy.

The meeting was held in the Cyber Village space at the National Cyber Security Academy in USW's City Campus in Newport. Which also gave us all an opportunty to catch up with how the Cyber Academy students have beenn getting on in their quest to become tomorrow's cyber experts.

We really got 2020 off to a great start and had an amazing first Cluster meeting of the year.

South Wales Cyber Security Cluster - July 2014

16th July 2014 | 14:00 - 16:00

Urquhart-Dykes & Lord,
Churchill House,
Churchill Way,
CF10 2HH

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 Malvern Cyber Security Cluster and spoke about some success stories of collaborative working in the original 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 attended by representatives of the Welsh Government's ICT Sector Team and the South Wales Police Cyber Crime Unit.

A number of prominent security companies attended such as Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP who hosted the meeting, Pervade Software, Westgate Cyber Security and Skybrid.

Some independent cyber security specialist consultants were also there, including Meirion Morgan and Jeremy Creasey as well as an organisation associated with the cyber community Thomas Carroll Group Plc who are creating cyber insurance cover.

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