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Sapphire adds OT security depot with Awen buy

Security player views deal as start of next growth phase just weeks after welcoming fresh CEO

Cyber security player Sapphire has picked up Awen Collective to extend the range of protection it can provide to cover operational technology environments.

The deal comes just a few weeks after Sapphire welcomed Ian Thomas as its CEO, landing an experienced industry player with a CV that includes time at NCC Group, Sopra Steria, Colt Technology Services and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Sapphire has indicated that the Thomas appointment, announced at the start of the month, and this deal struck just shy of four weeks later, are part of a fresh phase of growth that will see the firm up its position in the cyber security market. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“At the heart of Sapphire’s mission is to ensure that organisations and customers are working with a true partner that offers guidance and support when they most need it,” he said. “Too many cyber security purchasing decisions are driven by fear, but it doesn’t need to be that way. We stand with CISOs [chief information security officers] and empathise with the pressures they and security teams face. We partner with them to filter the noise and focus on what will make a real difference to their business.

“The business’s commitment to being a true partner to all of its customers is what made joining Sapphire an enticing and exciting opportunity for me at this crucial stage of business growth,” added Thomas.

Arwen is a specialist in securing operational technology (OT) environments, and out of its base in South Wales has built up a reputation for helping secure customers across the Defence, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Utilities verticals.

“Awen’s innovation, credibility and expertise in this sector is unrivalled, and will enable us to accelerate our interests in the OT space,” he said. “It was clear from the start that Sapphire and Awen share the same values and culture, which made this acquisition the natural next step for both businesses. The OT security market is the next big growth area for the cyber security industry, and one Sapphire is now well placed to address.”

Natural next step

In response, Paul Dennis, chairman of Awen, said the acquisition marked the natural next step in the firm’s development.

“As both an investor and board member, the growth and development of Awen from an initial research idea to a fully functional, best-in-class solution, for OT asset discovery and risk management, has been an incredible journey,” he said.

“With increased legislation coming to the fore and organisations facing heightened risks from cyber attackers seeking to cause disruption to society, it’s time to look at how organisations can be effectively guided to secure both their IT and OT environments for maximum security.

“Sapphire is undoubtedly the best fit for Awen as we work together to reach exciting new clients and sectors, while continuing to deliver on our mission to make society safer,” said Dennis.


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