Seven Cybersecurity Companies in Northern Ireland to Watch

Get up to speed on the nation's cybersecurity scene with a look at ANSEC IA, Cyphra, LoughTec, Salt Communications, Skurio, Uleska and Vertical Structure.

Cybersecurity is one of the most important parts of maintaining a successful business in this century. One of the fastest-rising tech sectors in the world, 23% of jobs advertised in Northern Ireland last year belong to the tech industry according to TechNation.

Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) is recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and in Cyber Security Education by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.

The seven companies below are just a small sampling of the wealth of promising cybersecurity options Northern Ireland has to offer.

ANSEC IA

A cybersecurity consulting firm operating out of Antrim, ANSEC IA was established in 2007 and has experience in the “design, procurement and implementation of complex IT solutions and associated project and programme management (PRINCE 2, MSP) and business analysis skills”. It also list digital forensics among its many services.

Major clients include HP and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority. In June 2020, the company announced a “strategic partnership” with Envorso, a “modern solutions firm”, and a focus on the financial services and automotive sectors.

Cyphra

Belfast-based firm Cyphra was founded in 2012 and offers a variety of cybersecurity services with a focus on large public sector organisations, government agencies and private enterprises.

These services range from security architecture design to security service management. According to its website, partners include IBM and Cisco.

Cyphra was acquired by Pixel, parent company of British IT solutions provider Perfect Image, in July 2021. However, Cyphra will continue to operate under its own brand.

Pixel hopes that the acquisition will help generate £4 million in profits.

LoughTec

This Omagh-based company was founded in 2006 and offers a variety of services including IT security, managed IT support and “remote working software solutions”.

Major clients include Deane Public Works, livestock ID tag maker Countryside Services and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

In June 2021, the Dundalk Institute of Technology selected them to provide cybersecurity services for the institution.

Salt Communications 

Salt Communications is a company that sees itself as “the global leader in secure communications” with a “bespoke platform” that is “is the secure communications solution that uniquely gives complete control to [Salt’s] customers”.

The company was founded in 2013 and based in Belfast. It currently operates in 52 countries with focuses in the military, government, enterprise and legal sectors.

One of its major services includes “true off-the-record conversations” and anonymous calling.

In May 2021, CEO Joe Boyle won the Innovation Award at Leadership Excellence Awards 2021.

Skurio

Founded in 2011, this Belfast-based company specialises in digital-risk protection and threat analysis.

It added Lex Mundi, one of the largest networks of independent law firms in the world, to its list of clients in November 2020.

The primary service Skurio offers is a Digital Risk Protection Platform which automates the process of searching various parts of the Internet for “critical business data” and “potential threats”.

Its partner network includes the likes of GCI, CMS Distribution, Dartali and ServiceNow.

In July 2021, the company launched a 1TIP, a cybersecurity intelligence solution in Pakistan, alongside CydeaTech and 1LINK.

Uleska

Located in Belfast, Uleska is one of the younger companies on this list.

Founded in 2016, the company’s primary service is providing application security aid for developers, helping take the load off an already-overworked team, as well as allowing them to centralise DevSecOps work.

After receiving  £375,000 in a 2018 funding round, the company has been relatively quiet, but its product focus is one of the more unique ones in the Northern Ireland cybersecurity scene.

Vertical Structure

Another company who calls Belfast home, Vertical Structure was founded in 2006 and offers “human-focused security and penetration testing services for web applications, cloud infrastructure and mobile applications”.

It has multiple certifications including ISO27001, Cyber Essentials and CAIQ and is an Amazon Web Services Select Consulting Partner.

Its services including the aforementioned penetration tests, security consulting and training workshops.

Others of Note

Other companies who aren’t from Northern Ireland proper but do business in the region include embedded runtime exploit prevention service provider Contrast Security, application and data security company Imperva, and London-based cybersecurity and compliance organisation MetaCompliance.

In addition, there are notable names such as Anomali, Cygilant, IBM Security, Proofpoint and Rapid7.

For a nation with a population of 1.9 million, there is – and has been – a lot of cybersecurity activity.

Zephin Livingston
Zephin Livingston is a freelance writer with years of experience in multiple fields including cybersecurity, tech, cultural criticism and media literacy.

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