Glasgow-based tech firm Vistalworks has taken part in a cybersecurity programme to help the UK lead the fight against cybercrime.
Vistalworks was chosen to be part of the National Cyber Security Centre’s ‘Cyber Accelerator’ scheme.
Based in Cheltenham, the Accelerator programme works with dynamic start-ups to encourage new products, skills, jobs and growth to help make the UK the safest place to live and work online.
Start-ups are chosen through open competition and must identify areas of cybersecurity weakness where new products are needed.
Vistalworks, which recently completed its role in the Accelerator, has developed an intelligence service for national law enforcement agencies, which can examine illicit trade for relevant jurisdictions and focus areas to reveal where to target protection measures.
The company, which also has a base in Estonia and operates across the EU, is currently working on targeting the European black market in greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as well as providing product safety alerts in places such as Lithuania.
It provides direct protection for UK consumers through its online shopping checker tool at Vistalworks.com, and it aims to work with banks and payment providers to embed new protection measures.
This week marks Cyber Scotland Week, with a series of events to make businesses, organisations and individuals more cyber aware and resilient. In the UK, it is estimated that cybercrime cost the economy £190 billion last year.
Illicit trade drains $2.2 trillion from the global economy annually – nearly 3% of the world’s economy. It is the biggest funding source of organised crime and directly harms economies, the environment, businesses, citizens and their communities.
Vicky Brock, founder and CEO of Vistalworks, said: “These days, the type of crime we are most likely to fall victim to exists online. Cybercrime is escalating at an alarming rate and taking part in the programme at the National Cyber Security Centre has enabled us to learn more about the challenges we face.
“We have developed an intelligence solution to help enforcement agencies tackle this, especially as their agents are mostly all deskbound right now, and we can help them to focus their prevention and protection efforts.
“There is an opportunity for Scotland and the UK to harness the skills needed to tackle the global problem of cybercrime and we’ll be using the knowledge we have gained to produce tech solutions for agencies across the world.”
Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for skills and growth, added: “The Cyber Accelerator gives us the opportunity to combine our expertise with agile and unique companies like Vistalworks, who demonstrate exciting new ideas. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Vistalworks and wish them every success for the future.”