All posts by NTSI Publishing Team

BlueVoyant Welcomes Timothy Yost as Chief Financial Officer

Accomplished executive brings the wealth of nearly 30 years of financial leadership to help guide company strategy and growth  

London, June 11, 2024 BlueVoyant, a cybersecurity company that illuminates, validates, and mitigates internal and external risks, today, announced that Timothy (Tim) Yost has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Yost will focus on setting and managing the company’s financial and strategic plans and continue to build BlueVoyant’s world-class global finance organization to enable continued scaling of the company. 

Yost is a four-time CFO with almost three decades of financial leadership and strategic expertise. Before joining BlueVoyant, he served as CFO of Consilio, a tech-enabled, legal services company with more than $1 billion in revenue. Prior to Consilio, he served as CFO of Axiom Global, a legal services provider. During his tenure, he played a significant role in Axiom’s monetization through a Private Equity transaction. He also served as a key deputy during CEB’s (Corporate Executive Board) 1999 Initial Public Offering (IPO) and then served as the then public company’s CFO for several years.  

“Tim has deep experience growing and scaling tech-enabled companies,” said James Rosenthal, CEO and co-founder, BlueVoyant. “We are excited to welcome him to the BlueVoyant team to maximize financial opportunities and lead financial strategy. We have exciting plans for our next phase of growth, and I look forward to having Tim’s knowledge and expertise to guide us.”  

BlueVoyant has more than 900 global customers and recently announced the acquisition of Conquest Cyber, a cyber defense company renowned for its innovative SaaS technology. The company is on the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML and is also a member of the Microsoft Copilot for Security Design Council. 

“I understand what companies like BlueVoyant need as the team continues to transform cyber defense,” said Yost. “BlueVoyant has a proven track record of sustained high growth, and I am excited to help take them to the next level of rapid acceleration and expansion.” 

Yost earned an MS in Finance from George Washington University and a BBA in Finance from Loyola College.  

About BlueVoyant 

BlueVoyant combines internal and external cyber defense capabilities into an outcomes-based cloud-native cyber security solution by continuously monitoring your network, endpoints, attack surface, and supply chain, as well as the clear, deep, and dark web for threats. The full-spectrum cyber defense products and services illuminate, validate, and quickly mitigate threats to protect your enterprise. BlueVoyant leverages both machine-learning-driven automation and human-led expertise to deliver industry-leading cyber security to more than 900 clients across the globe.

Modernizing Utilities Infrastructure in an Era of Competing Challenges

Written by Rob Lenarcic , General Manager of Utilities for North America, VertiGIS 

Electric, gas, and water utility companies face challenges in almost every facet of their business. From climate change and decarbonization to modernizing pipelines, distribution networks, and power grids, ensuring reliable energy sources, and tackling aging infrastructure to digitally transform and better harness data – the issues are complex and interdependent.

For example, modernizing and evolving new power grids or water and gas supply networks requires new planning resources, assets, and strategies, as well as significant investment. However, the industry, like many others, faces a shortage of skilled workers and an aging workforce. At the same time, the trend toward increased electrification is rapidly accelerating across various sectors, in particular EVs, forcing power companies to prepare for increased demand.  

Utilities are also working hard to adapt to and leverage digital technology to gain the advanced insight and agility needed to deliver robust, reliable services. Yet, these organizations are often tackling today’s challenges with yesterday’s methods. They are reliant on an aging infrastructure which is not only expensive to run and maintain but is also frequently dependent on manual operations that are difficult to scale and hard to integrate with third party digital systems. 

No unified system of record  

This, combined with a lack of unified asset management systems, is hampering innovation and development. Utilities often don’t have a thorough system of record, a system of engagement, and a system of insight. They typically lack automated standard operating procedures and often don’t have automated workflows associated with their asset management systems. This means that when problems arise there are no records documenting appropriate corrective actions. Instead, companies often rely on veteran subject matter experts who, in many cases, like to do things manually. 

In today’s environment, utility companies clearly need to optimize planning for industrial assets to better meet the challenges outlined above and comply with evolving regulatory and environmental requirements. However, many of these organizations don’t have modern asset investment planning approaches either, to respond to these factors and optimize their spending. Investment decisions for critical assets have often relied on historical practices and rules of thumb, processed in manual spreadsheets.  

These legacy processes are ineffective, error-prone, and often complicated. Additionally, the decision-making process is not repeatable or auditable.  

The role of GIS 

Most utilities track their assets in databases or specialized platforms. Those assets have spatial elements or components that are included within the inventories. For example, above-ground power line systems, poles, stations, and protective devices all have precise geographic location data. This is where utility companies rely on geospatial technology to visualize their infrastructure. This could be serving a network underground or an aerial network above the ground. 

GIS is a tool for   getting the most out of spatial data. Spatial data is any data with a link to geography. This could be direct, such as X and Y coordinates, or indirect, for example when you have data associated with a location such as a postcode.  

GIS drives the ability to derive meaning from this data, transforming it into information that can be actioned. When organizations have digitized plans of their estate to understand what’s under and above ground, they utilize GIS software.  

How GIS software enables utilities to tackle aging infrastructure 

One of the key challenges facing utilities is aging infrastructure, including pipelines, treatment plants, and storage facilities. Managing and maintaining this infrastructure is a constant challenge, requiring substantial investments for repairs, replacements, and upgrades. 

This is where GIS software enables utilities to visualize, trace, and maintain their entire network. They can address and document aging infrastructure in real time and manage maintenance through one pane of glass. Aging infrastructure eventually needs replacement. When that time comes, GIS software can help utility organizations prioritize what infrastructure is likely to need replacement first based on historical evidence and predictive analytics derived from trained machine learning models. GIS software can be used to plan retirement or replacement of infrastructure, coordinating with multiple agencies and departments around capital improvement. Likewise, GIS software is essential throughout the planning, design, and construction phases of infrastructure projects, and for recording as-built modifications. 

The result might be that a city digs up a road once to access a common trench which can be used to replace water, sewer, and gas infrastructure simultaneously, rather than digging up the same road three times over a three-year period. GIS software can also expose information dashboards to executives, or the public, who may be interested in the status of replacements or capital improvement projects scheduled in the future. 

Enabling more employees to access and share data 

With many utilities facing staffing challenges, making sure that software solutions are easy for end-users as well as administrators is critical. This is where SaaS or managed service options help to eliminate single points of failure, instead relying on a robust, secure, cloud-hosted application that scales to the organizations’ demands, without the administrative overhead or internal IT costs.  

Utilities should be looking at web-based solutions that enable more employees across the business to access and work with their data – from anywhere. This democratizes workflows across the organization to improve efficiency and reduce dependency on a small set of veteran experts that can lead to bottlenecks. These solutions should be lightweight and web-based, enabling organizations to always have efficient and cost-effective access to the latest technology. 

In the past, expert GIS systems required large, heavy workstations. These are increasingly expensive to deploy and maintain and are untenable in a cloud setting. On the other hand, lightweight SaaS software doesn’t require significant hardware investments, making it ideal to support some of the largest organizations.  

This not only lowers total cost of ownership; it’s easier, cheaper and more accessible to get it into the hands of people who work with network data. 

Modernization of utilities is pervasive across the globe 

Globally, the electric, gas and water industries are transitioning to improved methods and technology due to regulatory and social pressures. Better utilization of existing assets, combined with energy and water conservation, offer great potential for cost savings. The modernization of utilities involves expanded use of rich data, and the deployment of powerful user-focused GIS software systems. Modern utilities require their engineers to adopt data-driven decision-making, collaborating and accessing information across departments.  

Therefore, reducing information silos within utilities allows them to innovate and deliver more digitized services. Not only does this enable a wider employee pool to access services and benefit from information sharing, but it enhances safety, reliability, and improves customer experience. But the advantages extend far beyond this. Implementing better systems enables utility companies to future-proof their capabilities while managing natural resources, such as water, gas, or electricity, far more efficiently to reduce wastage and leakage. This aligns directly with climate action goals and contributes towards a cleaner, greener future for all. 

11:11 Systems to Deliver Low-Cost Cloud Object Storage with Eleven 9s of Durability

Global customers gain access to 11:11’s resilient cloud platform with new levels of durability, scalability and security

11:11 Systems (“11:11”), a managed infrastructure solutions provider, announced the availability of 11:11 Cloud Object Storage for Amazon Web Services (AWS). This new offering will give 11:11’s customers the unprecedented opportunity to cost-effectively store vast amounts of data with industry-leading durability, scalability and security.

“Storing mission-critical data in a single data centre creates the potential for a single point of failure,” said Justin Giardina, CTO, 11:11 Systems. “With cyber-security threats looming larger than ever, using a storage solution with eleven 9s of data durability that redundantly stores data across multiple data centres is key.”

By default, 11:11 Cloud Object Storage for AWS redundantly stores a customer’s mission-critical data across a minimum of three data centres, as opposed to other providers who always store data in a single physical building. Customers will also be able to reserve capacity to secure storage discounts through a long-term contract, while still paying monthly. Additionally, the simplified and lower price point of this new solution includes no fees for egress or API requests and comes with 11:11 Systems’ 24/7/365 support.

“With 11:11 and AWS at the helm, hosting, managing and protecting our data, I’m able to sleep a lot better at night,” said Bradley Berry, EVP and CFO at Delta Diversified, a top speciality contractor based in Tempe, Arizona. “That reliability has absolutely been our number one benefit since beginning our partnership with 11:11 Systems.”

The Role of C4I Systems in Keeping Militaries Connected

With Sebastian Philipp, Key Account Manager at Panasonic TOUGHBOOK, and C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence) systems expert.

Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence, known as C4I, are a network of connected systems and technologies that enable militaries to effectively lead and control their armed forces.

What role do C4I systems play in the decision-making process, and how do they help to increase responsiveness of troops in the field, particularly in dynamic or critical situations?

C4I systems are the backbone of every operational command in modern armed forces. They ensure that the necessary information can be accessed by the right unit, at the right time and place.

For example, operational orders for weapon systems, based on reconnaissance from drones, can be created, delivered and carried out in a quick and efficient manner. Today, armed forces have a wealth of data and information at their disposal, which gives them increased accuracy and flexibility in how they operate at base and in the field.

How can command and control systems help global armed forces adapt to current and future challenges?

In recent years, many Western armed forces have modernised and digitised their systems. One example is in the development of unmanned drones and ground-based systems. Equipped with modern reconnaissance equipment, these systems provide real-time information about enemy troop movement or the conditions of the terrain.

However, for this information to be useful, it needs to be processed and shared with the required unit quickly. This is entirely dependent on its integration into the ecosystem of C4I systems.

What specific features of Panasonic’s TOUGHBOOK devices make them particularly suitable for use with C4I systems?

Panasonic’s rugged TOUGHBOOK tablets and notebooks are always developed with maximum reliability, security and connectivity in mind, regardless of the application or environment, making them perfect for use within C4I systems.

Regardless of whether TOUGHBOOK tablets and notebooks are being used back at base or in the field, they are designed to perform effectively in even the most hostile of environments, TOUGHBOOK devices meet the strictest requirements for protection against drops, vibrations, sand, dust, rain, altitude, temperature extremes and more, with military-grade TOUGHBOOK devices certified to MIL-STD-810H standards.

What advantages do TOUGHBOOK devices offer in terms of the mobility and flexibility for the military?

The success of military operations depends on speed and agility, with compact IT platforms preferred for field usage. Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices not only offer the required computing power and market-leading connectivity, but they are also light, thanks to a magnesium alloy chassis.

The modular design of Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices provides increased customisation and security, regardless of the application. Features such as quick-release hard drives, hot-swappable batteries, and additional expansion slots and military-grade interfaces can be fitted, as per the requirements of the user.

What future innovations will be integrated into C4I systems and TOUGHBOOK devices?

Artificial intelligence (AI) will give command and control systems an enormous boost in performance. To begin with, I expect AI to be used for data processing, and to support decision-making. There are still some challenges of integrating AI into military systems, such as the need for a continuous, high-bandwidth and low-latency connection to transfer data – as well as storage and CPU processing power.

Ultimately, the future of AI and its application in the military is exciting; Panasonic TOUGHBOOK is already working on a number of solutions that simplify the use of AI on our devices.

Private 5G networks will also play an increasingly prominent role. Militaries across the world are already assessing how 5G private networks can improve productivity. As a result, the latest versions of the TOUGHBOOK G2 and 40 devices are currently equipped with standalone 5G modules.

The Importance of People, Process and Expertise for Cyber Resilience in the AI Age

Written by Sam Woodcock, Senior Director of Cloud Strategy at 11:11 Systems

No business is immune to the cyber threats that exist today, ranging from malicious software and ransomware to AI threats and more, which occur daily, weekly and often even more frequently than this. To counter them, companies must have strategies in place to minimise the potential damage of an attack by protecting data and putting plans in place to recover from a cyberattack as quickly and effectively as possible. 

The increased adoption of AI by everyone from employees to cyber criminals is adding further risk and complexity to the security landscape. While cybercriminals are incorporating AI into their arsenal to enhance their attack strategies, employees are unwittingly helping these attackers gain their sought-after prize, data. Many employees today are experimenting with generative AI models to assist with their jobs, but many put vast amounts of data, ranging from personal details to company information, into these systems, often without the organisation’s knowledge. 

However, as it is still early days for these technologies, the number of people using them is likely to increase and companies must determine how they secure their access credentials for those systems and similar applications and services before the risk increases. To achieve this, companies must focus on the technology, people, process and expertise to improve the defence structure of the organisation. 

The people 

To increase the overall security posture of an organisation, one of the most important things that companies must do is focus on education and enablement. To fully benefit from this, it should be a continuous education process with end users and employees, focusing on what is being placed into systems like ChatGPT, and explaining the security ramifications of putting sensitive data into these systems so that employees understand the risks associated with this behaviour.  

Companies should also develop and implement security policies around the use of generative AI technologies to reinforce what employees can and cannot share across these platforms. 

The process 

At its core, resilience describes how organisations can prevent and withstand a cyberattack, but it goes beyond this. To be truly resilient, organisations must adopt a multi-layered security approach with predefined processes that prevent data from being easily accessible in the case of a breach, as well as securing the system. Further, the approach must outline how the company will get the business back up and running and recover its data. As such, resilience is about prevention and recovery. And while many companies often incorporate one of these elements, to be resilient they need to incorporate both holistically. 

To achieve this, companies need to rethink how they plan for these attacks, determining what new technologies they need to counter possible threats and implement scenario planning into the mix to understand the process and be able to quickly and easily recover their backups to restore the business to an operational level as quickly as possible. It is important to note that even with the most comprehensive plans in place, companies need to prepare for the unexpected. For example, they may not be able to go to the last point in time in a cyber recovery scenario because the cyberattack may have been lying dormant in the environment for the last 30 to 90 days or more. As such they would need to turn to historical backups to recover the business.  

An effective cyber resilience strategy and recovery plan also needs to be tested regularly. Unfortunately, many organisations have a lack of focus on testing, both in terms of their planning and their process during simulation. However, tabletop exercises are key because they get to the heart of the metrics and unpack how long it will take to get the organisation back up and running. It also helps to clarify how the company will respond to the situation and helps teams to understand where they have gaps or need to evolve their planning. In doing this, the company will have a plan and know how it will operate through an incident. 

The expertise 

Metrics provide a mean time to detect issues and mean time for recovery. They also give insight into incident response times and help to provide an overview of where the company is in terms of its ability to recover versus where it wants to be and what good looks like.  

However, while metrics are valuable in that they provide a snapshot of various aspects of recovery, companies need to look beyond the dashboard of metrics and focus on what is important for their recovery. Unfortunately, many companies invest in technologies hoping for a silver bullet solution, but find that they simply add to the noise and complexity of data alerts, rather than easing the process. Further, leaders do not have the time or skills needed to see what the vast number of alerts are showing them, in order to improve upon what they have. 

Overcoming this challenge involves combining a mixture of the right technology with the right expertise to interpret the data, make informed decisions, and improve the overall defence structure of the organisation. 

According to research findings from Veeam, 85% of organisations have been a victim of a ransomware attack in the last 12 months, but more concerning is that these organisations have been hit two or three times. Businesses need to be prepared for the next incident if they are to protect their data and recover from a crisis. This means having a resilience plan in place and testing it regularly. 

Resilience must be a multi-department, multi-organisation effort. It is about understanding the organisation’s level of maturity across its IT systems and ensuring that it is fully prepared for any eventuality. IT teams must be able to answer the question: how comfortable are we if we were to be attacked tomorrow? Understanding this comfort level across different areas of the business is key to withstanding an attack and if there is any discomfort, this is a warning that work needs to be done and systems need to be tested to deliver more maturity and confidence in the cyber resilience strategy. 

Why a Zero Trust Approach is Essential to Mitigate the Threat of Unsecured APIs

Written by Karl Mattson, Group CISO, Noname Security 

With the move to hybrid working, the rapid adoption of cloud, increased use of mobile and IoT devices, combined with the ongoing drive to modernise and transform IT operations, the attack surface of every organisation has – and continues to – expand.  

Traditional boundaries have been blurred between businesses, suppliers, partners, customers, workers, and even home-life, with this ecosystem continuing to grow. Here, APIs are providing the connective tissue for modern applications and legacy infrastructure to co-exist.  

However, this means that the API attack surface is also rapidly expanding. A 2023 Gartner report signalled that 50% of enterprise APIs will be unmanaged by 2025, leading to significant gaps in visibility – and security – of active, legacy, shadow, and dormant APIs. As a result, Gartner has also predicted that more than 50% of data theft will be due to unsecure APIs by next year. 

Therefore, the security technologies organisations employ must reflect this complex threat landscape by bringing all security functionalities together through a single pane of glass, helping to proactively protect businesses from API attacks.  

Organisations must also look to close any security gaps quickly and secure their APIs throughout every phase of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). To achieve this level of control, particularly around APIs, many organisations have started to adopt a Zero Trust approach to API security.

Eliminating implicit trust  

For those less familiar, Zero Trust has emerged as the framework of choice for organisations establishing a set of more robust security controls. Organisations that adopt Zero Trust principles assume every connection, device, and user is a potential cybersecurity threat. By eliminating implicit trust, the Zero Trust model advocates for a security approach in which nobody and no asset is inherently deemed safe, regardless of role or responsibility. 

This approach is essential for organisations relying on APIs to exchange data and services with partners and customers. A Zero Trust strategy ensures that those API interactions are secure, even when the devices and users involved are not known or trusted.

The Zero Trust mantra of “never trust, always verify” works on the principle of least privilege. This means that users are only given the absolute bare minimum permissions needed to perform their function, and if any additional permissions are needed, they are provided for the shortest amount of time possible. The other key principle is around explicit verification. Authorisation should be undertaken with the most amount of data points and there should be no granting of permissions based on trust in a Zero Trust system.

APIs inherently trust by design

Zero Trust security offers a new way of securing access and IT leaders are embracing it. In a recent study, organisations with a mature Zero Trust implementation scored 30% higher in security resiliency than organisations without a Zero Trust strategy.

However, with APIs facilitating the transmission of data and services within a ‘trust by design’ framework, they could expose the inner workings of an organisation to bad actors. Likewise, they enable access to other applications and data that puts the organisation at risk, particularly around data theft, denial of service (DoS) and ransomware attacks.

Only 40% of security professionals have API visibility  

Unfortunately, many organisations do not have a full inventory of APIs and comprehensive visibility into which return sensitive data – a significant risk to organisational security. Our recent API Security Disconnect research showed that while nearly three quarters (72%) of cybersecurity professionals have full API inventories, only 40% have visibility into which return sensitive data. This is one of the key reasons they need a dedicated discovery solution to accurately catalogue and monitor the APIs they have. 

Outside of having full visibility, combating the daily onslaught of attacks is a complex task. Each API has multiple functions, with each communicating with numerous applications and data sets – as well as a myriad of internal applications that utilise several of their own internal microservices. Gartner suggests that, through 2025, 70% of organisations will deploy specialised runtime protection only for public facing APIs, leaving others unmonitored and lacking protection. 

This is where Zero Trust policies allow applications via their APIs to communicate only with other applications and data that are essential. By implementing least privilege access policies, integrating security testing into CI/CD processes and utilising discovery tools to reduce API sprawl, organisations will have a legitimate defence against malicious actors in pursuit of sensitive data.

Implementing an API security platform that integrates Zero Trust policies

To achieve this, organisations need an API security platform that integrates Zero Trust policies and can also:

  • Leverage AI to autonomously evaluate API activity to identify anomalous or high-risk security events and adapt responses accordingly. 
  • Be contextually aware to identify and assess risk, and enable rapid remediation. 
  • Provides tools, capabilities, and technologies to support the Zero Trust approach to security and integrate with the existing security stack and tools. 
  • Support a modern and flexible deployment without sacrificing reliability and resilience. 
  • Integrate with the SDLC for APIs to prevent new vulnerabilities being pushed into production. 
  • Test APIs with context for finding business logic flaws, and has blocking capabilities 

Taking an innovative approach to API security

Proactively responding to today’s expanding attack surface requires a purpose built and innovative approach to API security. Organisations need to seek out Zero Trust API security solutions that provide comprehensive API security with automated detection, analysis testing and remediation.

Zero Trust API security provides aproactive and robust approach to safeguarding APIs against potential vulnerabilities and unauthorised access. By treating every API request as untrusted, it significantly reduces the risk of potential data breaches, protecting sensitive information. This gives organisations the confidence that they have measures in place to plug the security gaps that APIs can create in an organisation’s security posture.

Panasonic And Creative Technology Deliver SMPTE ST 2110-Based 4k Streaming For Live Events

Panasonic studio cameras and camera control units expands Creative Technology’s existing IP-based ST 2110 infrastructure, and investment in KAIROS platform. 

Bracknell, UK. 23rd May 2024 – Creative Technology, the leading global audiovisual and system integration specialist, has chosen Panasonic Connect Europe’s AK-UC4000 4K studio camera, and new AK-UCU710 camera control unit (CCU), as part of its ongoing investment in the ST 2110 IP-based video transmission standard. Using Panasonic ST 2110-compatible technology will allow Creative Technology to deliver cutting-edge systems integration services and end-to-end IP-based live event broadcast support for clients across 87 countries. 

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ (SMPTE) ST 2110 standard is revolutionising the transmission of video and audio signals over IP networks. The protocol creates an interoperable, scalable system where all signals required for production and transmission facilities can for the first time be distributed bi-directionally over a local network. The standard defines the entire transmission system, the maximum supported resolutions, and synchronisation between streams. 

Unrivalled 4K images across IP-based networks 

Panasonic’s ST 2110-compatible UC4000 sets the standard for 4K/HD HDR studio cameras in sports broadcasting, studio production, and live events. It can be operated in both 4K and HD/HDR outputs and offers the high video quality that is only possible with a larger sensor, with a 4.4K sensor, alongside features such as BT.2020 and up to 4x output high-speed HD shooting1. Creative Technology is also the first UK-based AV integrator to purchase Panasonic’s AK-PLV100GSJ 4K PL-mount studio camera, with three cameras selected. 

To facilitate the transmission of 4K images over IP-based networks, Creative Technology will use Panasonic’s new UCU710 CCU. The UCU710 supports the ST 2110 transmission standard, and streamlines the connection to the UC4000 studio camera, making it ideal for multicamera productions.  

When connected, Panasonic’s UC4000 studio camera is capable of 4K and HDR image production and uncompressed long-distance transmission of 4K images, offering the required flexibility for live events. The UCU710 also offers flexible IP migration of existing operation systems, seamless migration from conventional CCU-based baseband systems, and a 3.5” LCD touch panel for easy operation. 

Continued investment in KAIROS platform 

Creative Technology will continue to utilise Panasonic’s state-of-the-art live video production platform, KAIROS, to seamlessly manage studio-based and remote live productions using the UC4000 studio camera and UCU710 CCU. KAIROS offers simultaneous SDI, ST 2110, and streaming capabilities, supporting Creative Technology’s continued transition to IP-based systems. Creative Technology has selected 12 camera channels using the UC4000, and eight KAIROS Core mainframes. 

KAIROS virtualises traditional switcher functions and eliminates many legacy switcher hardware constraints with innovative CPU/GPU architecture, whilst removing the one-to-one input constraints of SDI only switchers. It also removes much of the intermediary kit associated with traditional production methods.  

Joe Hicks, Solutions Architect at Creative Technology, said: “Panasonic have been a key partner in Creative Technology’s expanding ST 2110 solution. KAIROS has already become a go-to production system in our technical deliveries and the addition of the UC4000s only complements this in the live events space.” 

Egress recognised in UK’s Best Workplaces for Development™ 2024 List

Egress has officially been named as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development™ 2024 by Great Place To Work®, the global authority on workplace culture. Egress ranked 33rd in the inaugural year for the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development List, which recognises companies making employee development a key part of company culture.

Egress’s inclusion on this exclusive list officially acknowledges the ongoing commitment to development, innovation, and employee growth. In the past year, Egress has invested in learning and development at all stages of the business, from emerging talent via an extensive graduate scheme to management programs for aspiring managers and existing leaders.

As well as bolstering the team’s technical skills through job-specific qualifications across all areas of the business, open workshops to support soft skills have been popular including handling change in the workplace, providing the best customer experience, and working in a high-performance team; Egress will shortly embark on a careers fortnight, covering a breadth of topics for employees at all stages of their careers.

Laura Probert, Chief People Officer at Egress, comments:

“We’re so proud to be ranked 33rd for the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development 2024 – this is an area our team has really focused on, and to be listed in the first year of launching the category is exciting. Developing a culture of learning as well as our team members goes far further than improving skills to do the job in front of them; we’re proud to be supporting our employees to be future-focused, enjoy what they do, and feel pride in their development.

“As a company that is unrelenting in proving world-class employee wellbeing, we will be introducing 360 evaluating soon to raise our team’s self-awareness and clarify areas of development. This approach will offer a holistic view for employees to self-evaluate without pressure to meet company-set goals, and I’m excited to see how it affects our team’s view to development in the next 12 months.”

Benedict Gautrey, Managing Director of Great Place To Work® UK, comments:

“Employee training and development isn’t just about teaching employees to do their jobs. It’s about showing employees they are valued and that there is a path of progression available. Each year, we recognise organisations whose thriving workplace cultures are enabling both their people and their business to flourish.

“Opportunities for learning and development are a crucial element of this success, which is why we’re so thrilled to be recognising this year, for the very first time, the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development. Congratulations to Egress for being part of our 2024 UK’s Best Workplaces for Development List.”

To compile the UK’s Best Workplaces for Development List, Great Place To Work® reviewed each company’s culture, benefits, approach to leadership and development, alongside anonymous responses from employees. These data insights are then used to benchmark each company’s employee value proposition against the culture employees actually experience. Only the businesses that achieve the highest scores after evaluation receive Best Workplaces™ status.

About Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Our mission is to help every place become a great place to work for all. We give leaders and organisations the recognition and tools to create a consistently and overwhelmingly positive employee experience, fostering cultures that are proven to drive business, improve lives, and better society. Our recognition is the most coveted and respected in the world for elevating employer brands to attract the right people. Our proprietary methodology and platform enable organisations to truly capture, analyse, and understand the experience of all employees. Our groundbreaking research empowers organisations to build cultures that retain talent and unlock the potential of every employee. Our coaches, content, and community connect the boldest leaders, ideas, and innovations in employee experience. Since 1992, our Certification™, Best Workplaces™ Lists, and global benchmarks have become the industry standard, built on data from more than 100 million employees in 150 countries around the world. For more information, visit

About Egress

As advanced persistent threats continue to evolve, we recognise that people are the biggest risk to an organisation’s security and are most vulnerable when using email.

Egress is the only cloud email security platform to continuously assess human risk and dynamically adapt policy controls, preparing customers to defend against advanced phishing attacks and outbound data breaches before they happen. Leveraging contextual machine learning and neural networks, with seamless integration using cloud-native API architecture, Egress provides enhanced email protection, deep visibility into human risk, and instant time to value.

Trusted by the world’s biggest brands, Egress is private equity backed with offices in London, Sheffield, Cheltenham, New York, Boston, and Toronto.

Rocketmakers Named Three-Times Winner at the 2024 Global Tech Awards

Rocketmakers scooped up not one, not two, but three awards at the 2024 Global Tech Awards announced on 9th May 2024. Rocketmakers was awarded Digital Agency of the Year, Best AI Innovation – YourRoom, and Best AI Solution – YourRoom. A theme which ran right through all three winning entries was Rocketmakers’ strong position as a leader in AI and machine learning.


The Global Business Tech Awards showcase the best tech from around the world. With the world entering a virtual-dominated era, tech developments are even more important to developing the future than they have been in shaping the past. The Global Business Tech Awards recognises tech that has added tangible benefits to customer experience, management systems, marketing and sales information storage and data tracking.


The awards were judged by an independent panel of leading technology experts whose value to the tech industry is exponential, and the ultimate testimony to Rocketmakers’ work and skills. Commenting on the triple win, the judges said: “Rocketmakers’ creative approach to utilising AI demonstrates forward-thinking and commitment to pushing boundaries. The company has not only adapted to change but thrived on it, setting a shining example to the industry. It was great to see their commitment, transparency, clear business focus and innovation.”


Rocketmakers was awarded two category wins for YourRoom, an AI-powered application which provides users with groups of expertly crafted AI-powered personas reflecting different knowledge-sets, perspectives and personalities. These can quickly and inexpensively simulate expert panels on a variety of topics.


Users engage with the AI personas using a text interface that simulates the experience of a group chat on WhatsApp or Slack. Just like real-life group discussions, the user can direct the discussion to focus on a specific point or ask a specific persona to talk more or less. Agents regularly pose questions to the user to improve their understanding and engage in discussion with each other.


Panels can be constructed to provide expert advice about virtually any topic, from software development to buying a new home to surviving a zombie apocalypse. Development for YourRoom started in January 2024, with the first version of the application completed at the end of April.


Winning Digital Agency of the Year was the icing on the cake and a significant achievement for Rocketmakers to scoop up three out of 27 awards presented. Rocketmakers was in good company, with other award winners including Microsoft for Best Application for Tech Security, BT Active Intelligence for Best use of Data. Oliver Sanderson Group plc was awarded Best Use of Innovation and The Road and Transport Authority won Transformation Through Technology.


Commenting on this outstanding achievement CEO and Founder, Richard Godfrey said: “We’ve always positioned ourselves as one of the most innovative digital agencies in the UK. Now we’re a global winner alongside some of the biggest names in tech like Microsoft and BT. This just demonstrates the calibre of the award entries and I’m immensely proud of the work the team has delivered.”


This accolade comes off the back of other significant recognitions achieved this year. In February Rocketmakers was named Dev Agency of the Year at the UK Dev Awards.  Alongside this, the agency also won three other awards:

  • For its work developing the out-of-home advertising design analysis app Super Optimal for client DotScore, Rocketmakers won the Innovation Award
  • It also won a silver award in the App of the Year competition for its work designing and developing the pet-health smartphone app Biscuit for its client Biscuit Pet Health
  • Rocketmakers’ Chief Innovation Officer, Adam Walker, was named Dev of the Year

For further information please go to Global Business Tech Awards.

Paula Elliott
C8 Consulting Ltd.
+44 7894 339645

French Surfer Vahiné Fierro Appointed Panasonic Sustainability Ambassador

Surfer will make her Olympic debut at the 2024 Summer Games and work alongside Panasonic to highlight the need for increased global sustainability. 

Bracknell, UK. 20th May 2024 Panasonic has announced that Tahitian surfer, Vahiné Fierro, has joined Team Panasonic as a Sustainability Ambassador. Ahead of her Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, Vahiné’s partnership will raise awareness and unite people towards the common goal of protecting and safeguarding the planet. 
Vahiné is from the French Polynesian island of Huahine, northwest of Tahiti – the host venue for surfing at the 2024 Summer Olympics. Surfing since the age of two, Vahiné was the first Tahitian woman to win a World Surf League World Junior Title in Australia in 2018, and Surfer Magazine’s Best Barrel (Women) Award in 2019. She secured Olympic qualification in 2023, representing France. 
Vahiné is the latest addition to a team of world-class athletes that share the same passion for sustainability, including Team Panasonic European athletes Hannah Cockroft, Malaika Mihambo, and Hannah Mills. Vahiné is also an ambassador for Coral Gardeners, which is revolutionising oceanic conservation by replanting corals that have been affected by global warming. 
Panasonic provides Team Panasonic athletes with funding to support their sporting ambitions, whilst helping to highlight their sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advocacy efforts. Their work educates, inspires, and helps others to address environmental and social issues that are important to them. 
Vahiné comments: “My interest in protecting our planet was first sparked at the age of 17, when I met fellow surfers who were passionate about preservation of the ocean. I therefore couldn’t be prouder and more honoured to be working with Panasonic. It’s a company that is working really hard to address climate change and sustainability.” 
Panasonic’s GREEN IMPACT initiative is at the heart of Panasonic’s business strategy. By making its value chain more sustainable and developing industry-leading low-carbon technology, Panasonic aims to reduce and avoid CO2 emissions by more than 300 million tons by 20501. 
Junichi Suzuki, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Europe B.V., adds: Vahiné is a world class surfer. We are very happy to support her in the lead-up to the Olympic Games Paris 2024; we share the same values with regards to respecting the planet and the need to address climate change. Panasonic GREEN IMPACT is not just a project or campaign, but a long-term commitment. And it is through world-class athletes like Vahiné that we can drive and sustain awareness of the importance of sustainability, both today and for many years to come.” 
For more information about Panasonic GREEN IMPACT, visit: