London startup to target cybersecurity market for SME's

Mark Johnson's picture

A London start-up is targeting a $10bn untapped market with a new cybersecurity service that brings professional 24-hour monitoring within reach of small and medium-sized enterprises for the first time.

Bluedog Security Monitoring, which has been launched by Freeparking.com founder Paul Lomax and cybersecurity expert Tim Thurlings, offers smaller firms the type of managed detection and response service previously only available to large corporates.

Low cost device 

The company has developed a low-cost device called Sentinel, which plugs into a customer’s network and uses machine learning to spot unusual activity. 

It then alerts bluedog’s security operations centre, where a highly trained cybersecurity team can analyse and respond to potential threats.

The bluedog service can detect both external and internal threats, such as phishing emails or the download of video or audio files packed with malicious malware, which often bypass traditional endpoint security and firewalls. 

It not only offers enhanced security and rapid response to incidents, but also helps companies comply with standards such as GDPR, Cyber Essentials or ISO/IEC 27001:2005 and keeps a full audit trail for reporting purposes, the firm said.

The company said it was launch at a time when SMEs face increased pressure from customers, regulators and investors as well as cyber criminals seeking ‘soft’ targets. 

Cyber attacks

The UK government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 shows that while the number of businesses being attacked has been falling – down from 46% in 2017 to 32% this year – the number of attacks each victim suffers has risen from two to six over the same period. 

It suggests businesses with weaker defences are being targeted repeatedly.

Bluedog’s CTO Tim Thurlings, a former ‘ethical hacker’ who helped develop the EU’s TIBER threat intelligence framework, said: “Firewalls and endpoint protection which SMEs have traditionally relied on are no longer adequate as experienced hackers can easily find ways round them. 

“SMEs need to take their cybersecurity to the next level, yet at present few have a dedicated professional.

“Bluedog gives them 24/7 access to a whole team of cyber experts for less than the cost of employing one part-time staff member. 

“Bluedog’s innovative model combines machine learning and human expertise to offer exceptional service and peace of mind.”

Analyst firm Gartner believes that by 2020, 15% of organisations will be using services such as managed detection and response, compared to less than 1% today.

Gap in cyber market

Paul Lomax, bluedog’s CEO, whose Freeparking.com business was the UK’s first self-service domain registrar, and who has also founded two hosting companies, said bluedog is targeting a gap in the market for SME monitoring services.

“While technology is becoming more sophisticated, it still requires people to analyse the data and act on it,” he explained. 

“Ideally all businesses should have 24/7 monitoring but with salaries for skilled professionals running into six figures, it is an expensive resource that up until now has been limited to blue-chip firms.

“With bluedog, we have developed a smarter model which enables us to revolutionise pricing and bring services within reach of SMEs for the first time. 

“This is a $10bn untapped market and no-one else is offering a solution. Bluedog’s model gives us a competitive advantage and makes us well placed to become a global leader.”

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