The CCR Cyber Game-changers opening up a New World…

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The digital world is both protected and enabled by cybersecurity. So, when Cardiff-based Wolfberry Cyber Limited were named the UK’s Most Innovative Cyber Security Company in June this year, it was a hugely reassuring vote of confidence in CCR’s cyber credentials – and a fitting testimony to the trailblazing, ground-breaking, out-of-the-box thinking of this remarkable company. 

Beating off the competition from 23,180 nominations – finishing ahead of the very best Cyber enterprises from 32 countries across the planet – Wolfberry were commended for making “a huge difference to the world of cyber security”. We caught up with Wolfberry CEO Damon Rands to discover the drivers behind his company’s success – exploring how their customer care, trusted advice and technical expertise has seen them grow a network of offices stretching from south east Wales to Dubai – and gauging how CCR’s Cyber capabilities measure in comparison to the rest of the world …

Making cyber security accessible, affordable – and understandable

“In essence we’re here to make cyber security accessible, affordable – and understandable”, reflected Damon.” The last couple of years has seen cyber cease to be the harbinger of doom, as people realise the importance of security for their business and their everyday life. But there’s still something of a misperception around what we can really do for an organisation. Yes, we’re here to protect our customers from cyber-attacks and improve their safety posture. But we’re also an enabler. We help make things happen by opening up the true potential of enterprises and sectors. For example, we couldn’t have such a thriving and fast-growing fintech sector in the Cardiff Capital Region without world-class cyber being part of that ecosystem. Cyber companies such as Alert Logic, Awen Collective, and Thales’, along with ourselves, have helped build a cyber capability that meets a world standard. Our remit now is to continually stay ahead of that curve, helping organisations of every size, as every sector is impacted by ‘4.0’ and the security risks that come with a new industrial age.

We’re a business enabler, not a business blocker

“Because Cyber permeates everything, in many ways our job is to decipher things for clients” stresses Damon. “The world is full of many different vendors, products and services, all saying the same things. It can be quite bewildering. So, we have become a trusted, independent advisor to our clients. We’re here to test and audit, not sell software or promote a tech solution. Our role is to safeguard the client’s business and make sure they’re ready to optimise on any opportunities. And we need to nurture new ways of working too. We try to make sure that before our clients do anything they understand their own data, processes, systems – and how everything interacts. At some point that will probably involve ‘people’, so it’s clear to us that a safeguarded, primed-for-success organisation of any size will need a switched on and fully conscious workforce, with people who take responsibility for what they do and how they do it. We need everyone in an enterprise to ‘own’ cyber – so we’re as much an educator and culture-builder as we are a service partner.

We help organisations understand what they have and what they can do

“Our advice and service enables companies to size and scale their operations in the best way possible, because one size certainly doesn’t fit all. An organisation can go out and buy the biggest, brightest and most expensive firewall on the market, but only use 5% of its capacity, leaving the other 95% unused, unwatched – and vulnerable. We can guide a client on their buying decisions across their whole systems architecture, saving money and increasing efficiencies. Very often, clients don’t even need to make new purchases, but simply need to rejig what they currently have. Being able to give that objective end-to-end view is an important aspect of what ‘good cyber provision’ looks like. So even though we’re a comparatively small and relatively narrow field, we can influence and improve far and wide, both within companies and across geographies.

We have an amazing – and unique – cyber testbed here in the CCR 

“We have an amazing testbed here in the CCR. It’s unique – something that London, New York and San Francisco doesn’t possess. We have a number of universities who excel in cyber – and more than that, they excel in different aspects of cyber, which gives us a real advantage. We have the Cyber Academy in Blaenau-Gwent and the Software Academy in Cardiff bringing through a new generation of talent. Crucially, we have the Welsh Government, the Cardiff Capital Region, the Police forces and other institutions all collaborating – giving us the perfect landscape to develop our expertise for a future that’s going to come under even greater cyber threat, through developments such as connected cities. We’re good at collaborating and sharing. We just need to cultivate more of the entrepreneurial spirit through incubators such as the Tramshed – and knit it all together.”

Ever mindful of risks and potential vulnerabilities, Damon finished in a hugely positive vein, tempered by a note of cautious optimism:

“We have almost endless possibilities for our digital industries and the cyber security that underpins it here in our region. We need to seize every single opportunity because you can never relax in a global world that operates 24/7. Bringing through a constant stream of cyber talent will be critical for us to maximise what we do here in CCR. There’s a surprisingly wide and diverse range of roles in Cyber – it’s a place for people who have attention to detail, who can spot patterns, who can solve problems and who can work with customers and colleagues. It’s not just the domain of the stereotypical digital geek. Getting that message out there and engaging with that talent in communities across our region will be a major factor in our future success.”

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