B-Secur was recently revealed as part of the first cohort of the UK government's new centre dedicated to cyber innovation.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) aims to position the UK as a global leader in cyber security and support the country's innovators to turn their ideas to solve critical cyber security challenges into reality.
B-Secur joins LORCA's first cohort of the UK's brightest cyber security stars, for support addressing business challenges and achieving greater impact with our biometric heartbeat solutions.
B-Secur CEO Alan Foreman spoke to TEISS reporter Anna Delaney on the Cracking Cyber Security Podcast about what being part of the LORCA platform means for us, what challenges we face as a startup and what's next for B-Secur.
Here are our highlights from the podcast.
Anna Delaney (AD): "Do you have a background in health?"
Alan Foreman (AF): "Yes, I do indeed. For 20 years I ran a health practice for a large IT company called Accenture. When I left there three years ago, I took on this opportunity. It's authentication and it's health and wellness. Just by the very clothes you're wearing or the steering wheel you're holding, we can identify people but we can also in real time say how well they are."
Biometrics and Privacy
AD: "With this sort of identification, there are ethical questions that come to mind. Have you faced those questions?"
AF: "Yes, the privacy issue for biometrics is huge. Apple did us a great favour four years ago when they introduced the iPhone 6 and brought fingerprint to the public market. Before then, biometrics were out there but no one really wanted to use them.
"Now everyone is trying to use them, with the proliferation of apps, data and devices. It's pretty inconvenient to have to type in a password every time so biometrics is there to take over on that. What we have is the next generation of biometrics from those traditional ones which are out there today at our borders, on our banking apps and so on. The tech world now needs the next generation and B-Secur holds that through your heartbeat."
The Startup Challenge
AD: "What are the challenges you've faced so far as a startup?"
AF: "The biggest challenge is being within the UK. [We have] A great idea, a global idea, a global product, and the venture capital market is pretty risk averse compared to Silicon Valley or even Israel in that space, so we're funded from UK VCs today and we wish to continue to be so but that's why LORCA gives us such a platform to keep here. We're getting our name out there and we want to be doing more with customers in the UK but for now most of our work is in the US and the Far East."
AD: "So maybe this is the start of doing more work in the UK. Are you hopeful?"
AF: "I'm very hopeful. We gleaned our business here because of the talent that we got from several university sources."
B-Secur Talent Search
AD: "On that note, what sort of talent are you looking for?"
AF: "Scientists in cardiology and health metrics, data analysts and electrical electronic engineers. Our headquarters are in Belfast, Northern Ireland, we have people in England and a couple of scientists in Toronto. Our main thing here is to stay in London, Belfast and the regions.
"We can grow it here, we can grow a global business here, we can take it to the world from here. There are no boundaries with a cyber business in theory and that's what we want to do. LORCA today gives us a massive platform to do that."Careers
AD: "I thought it was interesting today what came up today about innovation in cybersecurity and is that even possible. What do you reckon?"
AF: "We're bringing something to the world that's never been there before."
"We get challenged on that - people say there isn't anything new out there. What we're doing is taking something that's been around for a long time in the health and medical sphere- everyone's heartbeat is different - and applying to the idea of identity and authentication."
"We have global patents, we've got funding, we've got a team of 20+ people and we're off and running so we can bring innovation to the market."
"Our customers from the biggest corporations from around the world are saying our stuff is cool, our stuff is next generation so we want that platform to build on that here in London."
Be sure to listen to the entire broadcast which features former head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan on the greatest threat to the UK’s security and our fellow LORCA cohort members Zonefox.