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Latest Lorca cyber security challenge has IoT focus

Government-backed cyber security innovation centre Lorca has issued new challenges around connectivity for its next intake of scaleups

The London Office for Rapid Cyber Security Advancement, or Lorca, has made connectivity the key theme for its fourth 12-month cyber security scaleup programme intake, which is now open to applications until 4 November 2019.

The government-backed programme, which is based at the Plexal innovation centre at the former London 2012 Olympic Park, will on-board 20 new scaleups, which will receive a year’s worth of bespoke support to scale in the UK and abroad, and access to commercial and engineering partners such as Deloitte, Lloyds Banking Group and Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).

The new intake will explore three innovation themes – Connected Economy, Connected Everyone and Connected Everything – relating to the macro challenges faced by both business and society. Previous cohorts to move through the scheme have explored challenges around security orchestration and automation, and supply chain security.

“As technology increasingly impacts all aspects of business and society, it’s clear that a cyber security paradigm shift is needed,” said Lorca programme director Saj Huq.

“Now more than ever, we need to support the development of cutting-edge innovations across the board to help us lead safer digital lives, keep our infrastructure secure and protect our digital economy from complex and evolving cyber threats. Given its increasing significance in a world that is more connected by the day, cyber security has to be everywhere – and serve everyone.”

The Connected Economy theme will explore questions around how organisations can become more resilient in the face of security threats emanating from their networks and supply chains, and how to future-proof themselves by building security into everything they do.

The Connected Everyone theme will look at security tools to help people feel empowered to control their digital presence, trust technology and end digital exclusion.

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The Connected Everything theme will examine the challenges emerging through hyper-connectivity and the IoT, and how to collaborate across multiple fields to build security into every single thing that accesses the internet.

“The three themes this cohort will be drawn from are tightly aligned with CSIT’s internationally leading multidisciplinary research roadmap of secure connected intelligence,” said Louise Cushnahan, CSIT innovation head.

“Our engineering and research teams are primed and ready to work side by side with this next crop of innovative cyber security companies. CSIT’s new Cyber Range came on-stream earlier this year and it will be used to maximum impact as we help companies iterate their secure solutions.”

Paul Branley, director of strategy, innovation and testing at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Lloyds Banking Group partnered with Lorca in June 2018 for three reasons. First, in recognition that incremental change isn’t enough and we need a transformative approach to keep ahead of the threat.

“Second, we also wanted to gain early access to cutting-edge ideas, technologies and innovative companies,” he said. “Third, as part of our business strategy to help Britain prosper, by ensuring the UK is a leader on the global stage with modern cyber security.

“We are looking to cohort four to achieve the above for some of the biggest cyber security challenges in the ever-increasingly connected world,” he said.

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