UCL graduate wins deal with UK spy agency, worth thousands

They’re called Spherical Defence

Hide Images

UCL alumni are among the next generation of cyber experts, creating programmes to ensure the world remains secure online.

The UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ has a new Cyber Accelerator, for new tech start-ups as part of the ‘Government’s 1.9bn National Cyber Security Programme.’

Based in Cheltenham, the scheme has approved seven start-ups for the programme, who will prevent data breaches.

One of the seven approved is Spherical Defence, a Cyber Security start-up from Pune, co-founded by UCL MSc Information Security graduate, Dishant Shah.

Alongside the role of co-founder and Cambridge graduate Jack Hopkins, Spherical Defence builds artificial intelligent security for banks. The start-up pioneers an intrusion detection system that utilises deep learning to detect hacking attempts within banks.

Spherical Defence have already worked with HSBC, ICICI Bank, Crownit and the University of Cambridge. Additionally, members of the start-up have served multiple stints at leading tech firms, such as Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung.

Spherical Defence have commented on the intuition that their Cyber Security Programme offers compared to older systems. The technology they pioneer learns overtime,  improving the defence capability the longer it is used.

Each of the seven start-ups chosen to join the new Cyber Accelerator are given a £5,000 grant, and run through a three month developmental programme, in which they have access to GCHQ’s offices, personnel and expertise. Spherical Defence is currently within its three-month developmental programme.

The tech-start-up scheme is a ‘groundbreaking partnership’ between GCHQ, the Department of Culture Media and Sport and Wayra UK, GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator, which intends to boost the UK’s £22 billion cyber security sector.