Barnsley internet security experts selected for national growth programme

A Barnsley business dedicated to helping people spot and stop potential cyber attacks at work has gained a place on a national business growth programme.

Bob’s Business, based at the Digital Media Centre (DMC), beat off hundreds of applicants from across the UK to secure a place on Tech Nation’s Cyber security growth programme.

Bob’s Business provides bespoke online training, development and support packages to help employees in public and private sector organisations develop the awareness and skills they need to recognise and take appropriate action against potential cyber threats.

Following 12 years of growth, it has now been recognised as one of the UK’s top 20 ambitious cyber security companies with potential to scale-up and expand further.

The company has begun an intensive programme of weekly online masterclasses, virtual networking, one-to-one peer mentoring and specialist scale-up coaching from leaders in the UK’s cyber technology sector.

Bob’s Business founder and CEO Melanie Oldham said: “We are honoured and excited to be included in this high-profile programme. The judges saw growth potential in our business and we look forward to exploring ways we can expand nationally and, in the long term, internationally.”

Tech Nation is a Government-backed organisation committed to supporting tech start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow, so that they can play their part in transforming societies and economies. Through their ‘Cyber’ programme they aim to help start-ups who create positive security cultures, tackle vulnerability to cyber crime and increase cyber resilience.

Melanie said: “In an increasingly networked world, cybersecurity is everybody’s responsibility. With an estimated 90 per cent of cyber attacks relying on unwitting human error to succeed, Bob’s Business focuses very much on the human element of security. We aim to empower individuals to secure and protect their digital lives both personally and professionally.

“Our goal is to transform the ‘people’ at the heart of every organisation from being that organisation’s biggest point of vulnerability to being its greatest cybersecurity strength.”

Bob’s Business’ cybersecurity eLearning modules are GCHQ accredited. They use bite-sized digital modules, game formats and storytelling to deliver award-winning training packages with excellent levels of engagement. It also delivers phishing simulation campaigns, designed to sustain a culture of cyber resilience and test employee alertness to cyber security with safe exercises.

Melanie Oldham started the business in 2007 and has grown its workforce from one to a more than 22 staff, working with more than 150 clients including several Government departments.

Tracey Johnson, manager of the DMC, said: “Bob’s Business was one of the first companies to join our Digital Media Centre community and it’s been a joy to see them go from strength to strength over the years helping countless workforces to become cyber savvy. Their expertise is becoming ever more significant in our interconnected world and this is an excellent opportunity to boost growth with Tech Nation’s highly focused support.”

Tech Nation’s ‘Cyber’ programme was launched in 2019. This is the second cohort of companies to take part.

Jem Henderson, of Tech Nation (Yorkshire), said: “It is a privilege to have Bob’s Business on Tech Nation Cyber. They are an excellent representation of Yorkshire tech know-how, and it’s frankly fantastic to have a female-founded business that employs working-class people in Barnsley in the national spotlight.”