ZoneFox ramping up team in fight against cyber-crime

Edinburgh-based ZoneFox was co-founded by Dr Jamie Graves in 2010. Picture: Graeme Hunter
Edinburgh-based ZoneFox was co-founded by Dr Jamie Graves in 2010. Picture: Graeme Hunter
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Cyber-security specialist ZoneFox is among the new breed of fast-growing companies making their mark in the field of financial technology (fintech).

The firm, a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University that counts fintech players including Nucleus Financial and Zenith Bank among its clients, recently unveiled a new “machine learning” product that will allow companies to monitor unusual use of data by their staff and instantly flag any security risks.

“Insider threats are a serious problem for global enterprise,” said chief executive Dr Jamie Graves.

“Such is the sophistication of these attacks and the methods used by cyber-criminals, the human mind alone can no longer be expected to monitor and combat such threats alone.”

The result of six years of research and development work, ZoneFox Augmented Intelligence (AI) is said to be the most advanced of its kind to be developed in the UK.

• READ MORE: Cyber-security outfit ZoneFox in £3.6m fund boost

Graves, who co-founded the company in 2010 alongside fellow cyber-security expert Bill Buchanan, a professor at Napier’s school of computing, said: “It builds a profile of normal activities and behaviour. The use of machine learning and big data is nothing new in the tech industry but when it comes to this specific type of threat to an organisation, we believe it’s the very first time that it’s been applied.”

In March, ZoneFox secured a £3.6 million cash injection – the largest to be led by Scottish business angel investment syndicate Archangels – in a move that will see its headcount triple to 30 by the end of the year and help set up an office in London, bolstering its sales and technology team.

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The company, which is taking part in the Future of Cyber Security Scotland Conference being held in Glasgow on 22 June, is currently based at Edinburgh’s CodeBase technology incubator and is also planning a move to new headquarters in the city as its team expands.

“We have established a strong reputation and generated a lot of interest from some global organisations, which have in turn become clients,” said Graves.

“Having the funding and support of Archangels, the Scottish Investment Bank and TriCap will allow us to continue to grow and develop ground-breaking solutions that will protect businesses.”

Last year the firm won the international contribution to cyber-security and “champion of champions” awards at the inaugural Scottish Cyber Awards, where Buchanan was also named “cyber evangelist of the year”.

Its funding round came after ZoneFox saw revenues soar by 400 per cent last year and follows the recent appointment of former BT and O2 board director Steve Davies as its chairman.

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