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Chess and Flow Communications add pen testing via acquisitions

Two channel firms add depth to their cyber security portfolios with deals that add highly regarded penetration testing players

Chess has moved for penetration testing specialist Armadillo as it works to strengthen the security side of its business and extend the services it can provide.

The firm is already supporting more than 1,000 UK customers with their security needs, and with the addition of Armadillo it will see that side of the business reach 20% of revenues.

Team members at Armadillo, which is located in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, hold the highest Crest CCT level infrastructure or web application certifications, as well as being Check Team Leaders (CTLs) or Check Team Members (CTMs), and will add pen testing capabilities to the managed security services already offered by Chess. 

Chess founder and executive chairman David Pollock said protecting data was at the top of its customers’ agendas.

“Cyber security is critical for our customers and businesses around the world. Cyber threats, hackers and ransomware attacks are more proficient and prolific every day. Business leaders need to make informed decisions about securing their data, and penetration testing is the first step to establishing what needs to be done,” he said.

“Armadillo’s expertise further strengthens our capability to deliver end-to-end services to our enterprise customers,” added Pollock.

Daniel Compton, director and founder of Armadillo, said the tie-up with Chess would give its team more options. “We are delighted to be joining Chess and helping its wide selection of customers secure their organisations,” he said. “Being part of a bigger business has many benefits and opens new growth opportunities to our security consultants’ team.”

“Business leaders need to make informed decisions about securing their data, and penetration testing is the first step to establishing what needs to be done”
David Pollock, Chess

The Chess deal comes halfway through what is already proving to be a busy week on the consolidation front. Yesterday, recycling specialist Restore bolstered its position by picking up PRM Green Technology. And penetration testing was also one of the skills that attracted Flow Communications to Capital Network Solutions (CNS).

Flow has been determined to transform the business with a buy and build strategy since the start of the year under the leadership of CEO Etienne Greeff. CNS offers managed services, consultancy and provides support around cloud, cyber security and infrastructure. It is also an accredited Crest penetration testing company with a security operations centre (SOC) based in the Vale of Glamorgan.

“The acquisition brings the combination of cloud, networking, datacentre and cyber security skills together, providing SMART [specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely] and efficient solutions addressing the problems businesses are facing, while delivering clear results,” said Etienne Greeff, CEO of Flow Communications.

“This is just the start of our buy and build strategy, I am excited for what the next 18-24 months will bring. The acquisition of CNS brings a wealth of skills to our existing team of experts. The founders of CNS will embark on this journey with us, with both Sarah and Mark Edwards taking senior roles within the enlarged group,” he added.

CNS managing director Sarah Edwards will be bringing the two firms together, along with Mark Edwards, current director of cyber security and networks, who will become group CTO.

“I am excited to be joining the Flow team and have access to the additional skillset from the expert team at Flow,” said Mark Edwards. “The acquisition allows us to scale at pace with our clients and gives us a greater ability to develop transformational propositions.”

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