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UK cybersecurity is catching up with the rest of the world

This article was first published in the April 2016 issue of WIRED magazine. Be the first to read WIRED's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online. For more stories from WIRED's Security issue, click here.

Cybercrime never sleeps – but neither do most startup founders. "Large existing cybersecurity businesses aren't necessarily good sources of innovation. The new ideas are coming from smaller, faster-moving teams," says Alex van Someren, co-founder of Cyber London, the UK's first cybersecurity accelerator.

Compared to the US and Israel, the UK has been slow in developing a cybersecurity industry. But it's catching up, thanks to growing recognition of cyber defence as both a business and a national-
security imperative.

In November, the government announced a £165 million fund to support innovative cybersecurity strategies, part of plans to spend £1.9 billion on a viable cyber strategy over the next five years. The move followed the creation of the Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research initiative in 2011.

"We also have the government and civil services not only as investors, but as customers, and they are quite aggressive about imaginative new technology," says van Someren. "And of course, we have our really big financial-services industry, which is a major client for cyber-security products."

The next challenge? Securing the late-stage funding that's necessary to scale businesses. "They're at risk of not being able to grow because they can't attract the capital to scale up," says van Someren. "It's a recognised problem."

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