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Altrincham cyber security firm lands £50k health innovation grant

Harman Singh and Indi Singh

An Altrincham company specialising in cyber security has won funding to improve digital services in the health and care sector.

Cyphere’s portfolio of existing clients includes housing associations, construction firms, financial services and online retailers.

Now the £50,000 Fast Start grant from Innovate UK, designed to boost advanced computing and patient self-management, will help it gain a foothold in the health and care system.

Cyphere has been supported by the Innovation Agency – the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, a Cheshire-based NHS organisation specialising in the adoption and spread of healthcare innovations.

Director Harman Singh said the funding would help Cyphere, which has bases in Warrington and Altrincham, to support small companies to comply with security standards and carry out penetration testing, which simulates cyber attacks to test the security of a system.

He said: “We particularly want to support companies in the healthcare supply chain that are offering mental health and wellbeing services. Very often a company will supply an app with minimal security input to the market and it won’t comply with anything other than blanket regulations, so while launching an app isn’t itself a big deal, making sure it meets the security and privacy design requirements is. When a small company is working to comply with certain regulations such as DTAC (Digital Technology Assessment Criteria) and National Data Guardian standards, the portal we’re developing will help them fast track that compliance work along with cyber security hygiene.”

He added: “We wouldn’t be able to offer the kind of service we want if it hadn’t been for the grant. Now we’ll be able to bring in sub-contractors who can take the service in the right direction.

Indi Singh, the Innovation Agency’s Cheshire commercial programme manager, said many small innovative companies were unaware of funding sources. He said: “There are plenty of innovative companies out there with solutions to some of the health system’s problems. The challenge is to find those companies and make sure their work makes its mark in the health service and eventually leads to better outcomes for patients both in terms of clinical safety and cyber security.”

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