CyberLab ramps up


The merger of Chess Cyber Security with acquired firms Armadillo Sec and Cyberlab Consulting created a ‘one-stop-shop security powerhouse’, says Gavin Wood, CEO of the rebranded CyberLab business.

CyberLab represents the culmination of a journey that began in 2017 when Chess acquired Foursys, followed by the addition of penetration testing expertise in 2021 through the purchase of Armadillo Sec, and in April last year Cyberlab Consulting was acquired to bring in more compliance and managed security services, including a cybersecurity as-a-service (CSaaS) platform. CyberLab and Chess have the same shareholders but it can independently pursue its own finance growth partners, and alongside Wood the leadership team includes CFO Tom Davies (Group Finance Director of Chess) while Cyberlab founder Ryan Bradbury is CTO.

Wood joined Chess as part of the acquisition of Foursys and became the group’s CTO. He was appointed CyberLab CEO in 2023 and is leveraging his 25-plus years experience in driving business transformation, including critical national infrastructure projects and solutions for major UK telcos. For the last ten years Wood has focused on security and he says the Foursys deal catalysed the formation of a major force in cybersecurity equipped with the right technology, knowledge and expertise to help businesses of all sizes, including large public sector organisations.

Wood’s primary goals for 2024 are to continue year-on-year organic growth and expand CyberLab’s partner ecosystem while completing integration priorities. “We combined three cybersecurity companies with rich histories, technical expertise and excellent reputations into one organisation,” he stated. “Our short-term goals are to continue integrating these businesses, people and systems into one cybersecurity powerhouse while maintaining our security guidance, services and support for customers. We have become a one-stop cybersecurity advisor providing a full suite of services that range from testing, assessment and discovery to consultancy, delivery and hardening. We anticipate continued organic growth because our products and services complement each other, enabling us to guide customers through a complete cybersecurity journey. Our long-term plan is for rapid organic growth supplemented by strategic acquisitions and to establish CyberLab as a leading UK cybersecurity business.”

Our long-term plan is for rapid organic growth supplemented by strategic acquisitions and to establish CyberLab as a leading UK cybersecurity business
CyberLab’s core partner proposition is underpinned by its CyberLab Control cybersecurity-as-a-service platform which provides tools such as Dark Web Monitor, phishing simulation and user education training. “The platform is designed to work seamlessly with our partner channel and the programme is working well,” stated Wood.

He also pointed out that CyberLab’s portfolio and development priorities are shaped by customer feedback alongside ongoing alignment with the ever evolving cybersecurity industry and changing threat landscape. “Advanced threat detection and response are becoming increasingly important due to the prevalence of targeted ransomware and data exfiltration attacks,” he explained. “Having tools that monitor systems 24/7 is now the minimum standard for protection. Furthermore, securing the human element of businesses through user education and awareness is crucial as even the best security tools can fail without knowledgeable users.”

Wood noted that CyberLab performed ‘exceptionally well’ over the past 12 months and that he is currently focused on new revenue streams and growth opportunities generated through channel partnerships. “We see a gap in the market for MSPs and MSSPs, especially in the channel,” he commented. “CyberLab onboarded Chess ICT as a strategic partner and other large telco and wholesale partners are currently in the onboarding process. Through our partnership with Chess ICT and our existing customer base we have over 6,000 businesses already using our services through the channel. Ongoing investment in CyberLab Control’s capabilities will bring more opportunities for partners.”

Expanding base
From a broader perspective, noted Wood, CyberLab is expanding into new markets with a strong focus on supporting mid-market corporates while also continuing to enhance its NHS propositions where it already has a large base with over 50 NHS trusts as customers. “Our public sector base also includes government, local government and the MOD, along with a diverse range of commercial customers from SMEs to large global enterprises,” he added.

But the channel will play a ‘crucial role’ in driving growth and influence across the market, emphasised Wood, particularly through the CyberLab Control portal which offers partners a way to introduce cybersecurity to their portfolios. “We are investing in scaling up the partner channel with additional dedicated partner channel managers,” he said.

“Partnering with a cybersecurity specialist enables resellers and MSPs to identify security requirements and maximise those commercial opportunities. We see a huge opportunity in the partner channel and I aim to establish CyberLab as one of the UK’s biggest cybersecurity providers for partners.”

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