Earlier this week, UK cyber security organisations met in Reading to form the Thames Valley’s Cyber Security Cluster, part of the UK Cyber Security Forum and intended to give the smallest companies a voice. The event was over-subscribed and attended by a broad cross-section of the UK’s cyber organisations including researchers from leading universities, FTSE 100’s and government agencies all responding to the call to bolster the UK’s cyber defence capability.
The organiser and cluster leader Gareth Owen remarked that the high turnout was a surprise and very encouraging. Cyber firms across the region as well as academia have made it clear that they need to collaborate to bring high-tech innovation from small companies to bear in what has become the new battlefield.
The event’s agenda comprised an introductory talk from UK Cyber Security Forum founder Dr Emma Philpott, and talks from BIS representative Steven Williams, Sergeant Rob Bryant from Thames Valley Police, Peter Meehan from IQ4 and venue providers Louise Clark and Adam Clarke from Connect Thames Valley Tech.
The creation of the Thames Valley cluster as an important geography within the UK Cyber Security Forum was created by Gareth Owen and Emma Collins of The Metroworth 500. The initiation of UK clusters follows the success of the Malvern cluster set up by Key IQ Ltd back in September 2011. The demand for these clusters grew so quickly that further clusters across the UK have been rapidly forming. These clusters allow small to micro cyber sec companies to collaborate and work together as a single entity, giving them a louder voice in a sector previously dominated by the big consulting firms.