A cybersecurity business which has developed an automated software that helps SMEs detect vulnerabilities in their IT system has raised £350,000 from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.

Melius Cyber’s platform monitors an organisation’s IT network around the clock, testing security and protecting it from the latest threats. CyberSafe automates the process of vulnerability scanning and penetration testing, in which cyber experts simulate attacks to detect weaknesses in the system.

The platform was developed specifically for SMEs and aligns to Cyber Essentials, the government-backed accreditation scheme that shows businesses take cybersecurity seriously. It helps businesses to gain accreditation by showing they have monitoring in place and can meet the criteria.

The funding will enable the Newcastle-based company to boost its sales and marketing to expand its client base and to further develop the platform, including adapting it to meet the needs of financial services and other FCA-regulated firms.

The company, which currently employs eight staff, is planning to create five new jobs in the next six months.

Melius Cyber was founded in 2019 by Dave McPherson, a former IT specialist with the Bank of England. The company is a spin-off from Melius Group, the Newcastle-based IT services business he founded seven years earlier.

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Richard Brown, CEO of Melius, said: “Cybersecurity is a growing problem for businesses, particularly with the rise in home working, and it is no longer enough to rely on off-the-shelf solutions such as spam filters and firewalls. Big companies regularly stress test their network, but the cost is prohibitive for smaller firms.

“CyberSafe overcomes this problem by providing a 24/7, year-round service for the price of a one-off penetration test. The funding will enable us to roll out the system and help safeguard many more businesses.”

Ian Wilson, Fund Principal at Mercia, said: “CyberSafe fills a gap in the market for a product that provides security testing at a price that SMEs can afford. It not only helps them prevent attacks, but also to comply with recognised standards and provide reassurance for customers and suppliers.

“The investment will help Richard and the team to target the growing cybersecurity market.”

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