Gordon Fong and Cameron from Hub8

CyNam – Cyber Security Cluster in Cheltenham

By Gordon Fong

Whilst this might not have been my first trip as part of my Park Life on Tour series, as I only popped in for a couple of hours and didn’t record any interviews, it’s probably more like the Prologue stage of the Tour de France, as in the bit before the real start.

CyNam event

I will be now know as the guy from X-Net that drove all the way from Bournemouth to Cheltenham for the two hour event by CyNam to listen to a series of talks on Cross Domain Security. Thank you to Surevine for sponsoring and the much needed pizza before my horrendous 4 hour drive back home. Oh why didn’t I listen to Charlotte Smith. Two diversions on the A34/M27, that lead me on a tortuous wild goose chase of a detour. I could have gone the Salisbury country route but thought an easier main roads route would be better.

It got deep down a technical with a speaker from National Cyber Security Centre there that mostly went over my head but I think I got the gist of it.

Nick Washer from Defence Digital

Then there was Nick Washer CMgr FCMI from Defence Digital who took the concept away from say two different networks in your organisation that has different levels of security classification, which was easier for my little brain to understand, to a view of different countries, or treaties, or even different organisations within the administration of one country, that manages the world in different blocks who then choose to use data and tech in their own way. The need to share data that crosses all those domains, in a secure and managed way is next level.

I also took the opportunity to donate a blood pressure monitor to Cameron Carter from the Hub8 facility so it can be used by the micro businesses there as part of my campaign to prompt business owners and entrepreneurs to check themselves. We are the last ones to check that we are OK.

Cameron of Hub8 with blood pressure monitor

Hub8 is the name of this facility as in the co-working spaces run by Plexal, who also own other spaces such as Stratford and Shoreditch in London. There’s a few Hub8 facilities in Cheltenham, but I went to the one in town, in the Brewery Quarter.

Blink and you will miss the door. I guess it needs to be a little bit discrete, but it is right amongst a busy section of retail bars and restaurants. I parked in the NCP Cheltenham (The Brewery Quarter) and a very short walk between the restaurants and the door is on your left.

Heading up the stairs onto the first floors takes you to the reception desk and a large meeting space, which was set out with rows of setting specifically for the event, but normally it is sofas around tables and a set of acoustic booths for calls.

On the other side of the meeting space and kitchen, there are rows of co-working desks. I didn’t get to see too much this time but believe there are offices that can be rented too.

The event I went to seemed very well attended, and CyNam are active in holding events there.

So, this was just a fleeting visit, but had enough snippets of conversations with people that we should be able to arrange another visit where I can do some interviews with people form Hub8, CyNam and tenant businesses, to find out their approach in creating a thriving innovation community around Cyber Security.