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FluidOne’s CSA grows testing capabilities via SureCloud buy

Simon Ward, Ben Jepson (middle) and Russell Horton (right)
Simon Ward, Ben Jepson (middle) and Russell Horton (right)

FluidOne’s cyber division, Cyber Security Associates (CSA), confirmed to QA Financial it has reached a deal to buy UK-based penetration testing firm SureCloud Cyber Services, which serves many of Britain’s largest payment providers, banks and other finance firms.

FluidOne, a provider of connected cloud solutions, said that its cyber subsidiary Cyber CSA will become the new owner of SureCloud, which specialises in CREST and NCSC CHECK certified penetration testing and specialist cyber risk consulting.

Russell Horton
Russell Horton

Following on from the acquisition of CNC, in December of last year, the SureCloud Cyber Services acquisition takes the FluidOne group to £109 million in annual revenues.

It will also swell its staff to 500 employees, with over half being IT and cyber security specialists, according to Russell Horton (left), FluidOne CEO and Chairman of CSA.

“The acquisition will enable CSA to enhance its services and provide its customers with a more comprehensive range of cyber security solutions against the ever-growing cyber threat,” Horton commented.

CREST and CHECK testing

FluidOne first invested in CSA in 2020 as a Centre of Excellence for cyber security following market demand for expertise and testing

“Surveying our customers their feedback was that IT MSP’s shouldn’t ‘mark their own homework’ and this led us to operate CSA as a separate division dedicated to cyber security,” Horton explained.

Led by Dave Woodfine, a former commander of the UK’s Ministry of Defence Cyber Defence Unit, CSA focuses primarily on monitoring, testing and detection, with particular strength in managed services using Microsoft Sentinel and the wider Microsoft suite of security products.

For expertise in penetration testing and incident response, the team usually teams up with specialist suppliers.

“The addition of CREST and CHECK certified testing will accelerate the growth of CSA this year and beyond.”

– Dave Woodfine

The SureCloud Cyber Services acquisition brings these skills in-house, with an expert team of 28 employees led by Commercial Director, Ben Jepson, who has been with the business for four years, following 16 years with NCC, Horton pointed out.

“Ben will join the board at CSA reporting to the MD Dave Woodfine. The SureCloud Cyber Services portfolio perfectly complements that offered by CSA and the acquisition will benefit both businesses clients,” he continued.

Horton added that “during the acquisition process we have got to know Ben and the senior SureCloud team, combined with surveying their key customers. This has reinforced the quality and expertise of their staff, and a strong alignment in culture and drive.”

Meanwhile, Woodfine stressed that, following the takeover, “the addition of CREST and CHECK certified testing alongside a team who understand the specialism of cyber in operational technology and the Payment Card Industry will accelerate the growth of CSA this year and beyond.”

He added that “more importantly, as one team we will be able to work together to close the cyber threat gap and enable all our clients to be more secure. This is a massive moment for myself and Cyber Security Associates.”

Post-acquisition, Horton will become chairman of SureCloud Cyber Services, with FluidOne Directors Simon Ward, Chris Rogers and Roy Hastings becoming board directors.

SureCloud strategy

Meanwhile, SureCloud explained to QA Financial why it sold its subsidiary.

Cyber Services, a wholly-owned division of SureCloud, was divested “in a strategic move to sharpen the company’s focus on its foundational governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software offerings,” the company said in a statement sent to QA Financial.

“This transaction enables SureCloud to not only concentrate on but also to enhance its core GRC business, integrating continuous control monitoring to ensure real-time oversight and management of enterprise risks and compliance,” the firm wrote.

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