The new cohort was chosen for their innovative approaches to tackling the growing ransomware threat, with particular relevance to three challenges identified by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC):
- Defending SMEs from ransomware by providing accessible, low-cost protection
- Encouraging firms to implement secure backups to minimize the impact of an attack
- Addressing risks posed by Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) as more businesses and individuals implement home and remote working
The five startups joining the program are Cyntegra, Goldilock, Vault Sentinel, Validato and SOS Intelligence. Three of these firms are developing solutions that enable organizations to recover more effectively from a ransomware attack and minimize costly downtime. Four of them emphasize helping critical national infrastructure organizations become more resilient and protected against ransomware.
In the program, the five companies will be offered expert assistance in developing, adapting and piloting their solutions to the evolving ransomware challenge. This includes workshops on marketing, funding and business development and high-level access to technical experts and incident response teams from within the NCSC to better understand the threats the UK is facing and adapt their products to suit.
Chris Ensor, deputy director for cyber growth at the NCSC, commented: “Ransomware remains the biggest cyber threat to UK organizations, and tackling it requires a collective effort.
“The five companies selected to join the NCSC for Startups initiative offer various innovative approaches to dealing with ransomware – we look forward to working with them and ultimately further boosting the UK’s cybersecurity.”
Saj Huq, CCO at Plexal, added: “The opportunity for innovative and novel ways to address ransomware can often be overlooked. The startups selected to meet this challenge will experience a unique collaboration opportunity with Plexal and the NCSC, gaining critical insights and developing solutions to enhance the resilience of society in the face of unprecedented digital risks and increasingly motivated threat actors.”
The initiative forms part of the UK government’s national cyber strategy, published in late 2021. This outlined its intention to continue supporting cyber startup companies.