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Entries open for DSIT competition as Infosecurity Europe look to crown the UK’s Most Innovative Cyber SME 2023

Cybersecurity budgets are tipped to increase or are expected to be maintained, despite the economic downturn. This is according to over 50% of respondents to a Twitter poll conducted by Infosecurity Europe, the most influential information security event running from 20-22 June 2023 at ExCeL London.

However, the current economic uncertainty is expected to impact on cybersecurity innovation, as 31% of respondents believe that innovation in cybersecurity training and awareness will suffer the most, with threat intelligence a close second (30.3%). With this in mind, Infosecurity Europe has put innovation high on the agenda for 2023.

Infosecurity Europe’s network of cybersecurity experts also recognise the need to continue to focus investment in these areas.

David Edwards, Vice President of Information Security, Payroc said, “It’s easy to cut threat intelligence, but it’s this intelligence that enables us to make great choices on how we defend our organisations going forward. It’s also imperative we continue to innovate in those areas. Cybercriminals won’t stop innovating, they’ll be faster, quicker, smarter, and more automated. We too must make sure that we are smart, fast and automated in what we do to stay ahead.”

Sarb Sembhi, CTO of Virtually Informed and Executive on the Board of the IoT Security Foundation noted “Last year started with the war and we had hints that there was going to be a recession. The same was threatened at the start of the pandemic, but that recession didn’t happen. At least not in the way that it has over the last 12 months. Now in Q1 2023, we are reviewing our budgets, and hoping to see an increase in spend hopefully directed to those areas of innovation such as threat intelligence, training and awareness. These are the areas that will likely have gone out the window first as businesses feel the pinch.”

As part of Infosecurity Europe’s focus on innovation, for the 8th consecutive year, they have once again partnered with the Department of Science, Information and Technology (DSIT) previously the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), to seek out the UK’s most creative and original cyber security companies. One of which will be crowned The UK’s Most Innovative Cyber SME 2023.

The DSIT competition is open for entry until March 31st and is judged by a panel of cybersecurity experts. The winner, and 13 runners up, will be invited to join the Cyber Innovation Zone at Infosecurity Europe 2023, which will take place on June 20 to 22. The winner will be announced at the event and will receive a feature piece in Infosecurity Magazine. All Finalists will also receive an event stand, showcase speaking slots and a marketing package.

The contest has previously seen a host of new and innovative cybersecurity companies apply and go on to see impressive growth and achievement. TryHackMe was crowned the winner at the event in 2022 and joined an impressive list of past winners including CAPSLOCK (2021), KETS Quantum Security, Check Recipient (now trading as Tessian) (2017), Device Authority (2016) and Geolang (2015).

2019 winners, Hack The Box, a UK start-up that has developed a gamified continuous cybersecurity platform, have since announced a Series A investment round of $10.6 million in 2021, and a further Series B funding announcement of $55 million in Jan 2023 to expand its business after racking up 1.7 million users.

“The game has changed in cyber. The rise in the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks means that demand for new skills is booming, and the old ways are no longer working. Hiring criteria and how candidates are assessed in this industry need to be revised, and businesses must prioritize practical-based skills and continuous training. This will help cut the red tape holding back an untapped pool of highly skilled cyber talent waiting in the wings. The only way to turn the tide in the cyber war is by investing in upskilling and reskilling initiatives that equip a new generation and current security professionals for the next wave of threats.” highlighted Haris Pylarinos, Founder and CEO at Hack The Box. 

The Innovation Showcase at Infosecurity Europe 2023 will be the place to be to discover, scope out and evaluate the newest cybersecurity technologies and solutions, and get to grips with how they can be deployed. Businesses will showcase and demonstrate the exciting new products and services they have to offer. Attendees can expect to hear real-world examples of how new technologies and solutions have been implemented, the customer benefits and the overall ROI.

Nicole Mills, Exhibition Director at Infosecurity Group, says: “Businesses will undoubtedly feel threatened by the economic downturn, but pulling back on cybersecurity investment would be a step backwards, so it’s exciting to see that the majority are looking to increase or maintain their budgets despite the economic uncertainty. Innovation is critical to the future of cybersecurity and as cybercriminals continue to innovate, we as an industry are determined to do the same in order to become smarter, safer and stronger.”

Attracting 2,524 responses, the Infosecurity Europe Twitter poll was conducted during the week of 6 February 2023.

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