Cerberus Security Laboratories: The Low Down
Becoming part of the Future Space community in 2017, Cerberus Security Laboratories have been working away innovating the security sector. We had a catch up with Andrew Lindsay (Co-Founder) to find out what the team have been up to and why Future Space, other than monthly free beer and pizza, works for them.
How did you start your business and what does your team look like?
Cerberus was formed, as a result of merging two consultancies, in October 2016. Paul Elliot and I were running a hardware security business and Carl Shaw was running a software security consultancy. After completing various projects together, we decided to combine forces so that we could offer everything across the board. And since arriving at the centre we’ve turned our 3 into 4.
As they say, 4 heads are better than 1! What are the team you working on at the moment?
Our business has two main components, the consultancy and the product side. Currently on the consultancy side, we’re working on security review for a client and we’re also designing a key management system for another customer.
Lots of our work on the product side is confidential, so if I told you I’d have to…One project I can let you in on though, is our health monitoring system we’re developing for the London Met. We’ll measure heart rates, bloody oxygen levels and movement of detainees, which will be piloted in the next 3 months.
Sounds intriguing, what’s the problem you’re solving?
Did you know detainees are woken up every hour to ensure that they are healthy and ultimately still alive? As you can imagine the Met are very aware that this isn’t a pleasant procedure for the people detained, and that’s where our product comes in.
In addition, to complicate matters, often detainees are found with alcohol or drugs in their system, which can have critical health consequences and resulting repercussions, from both a legal and mental health perspective. Our product is a tech solution, so fits or seizures can be detected immediately, and take away the risks involved.
Aside from the tracking health and wellbeing benefits, the project could have additional advantages such as aiding the Met’s recruitment. Currently potential employees could be deterred about being held responsible for a detainee’s health, and worse, they could also be sued for the death of a detainee. We take away this risk and uncertainty.
And if you were tracking your time at Future Space, what would the data look like? A positive experience for Cerberus?
We were just looking for an office which was a convenient commute for all of us. But Future Space has been a complete surprise from start to finish! The more we’ve learnt about the centre, the more boxes it has ticked, including things we didn’t know we needed in the first place.
It has a real community feel, a whole range of business support is provided by Oxford Innovation, including some great workshops. It goes way beyond our initial plan of just renting an office.
We have been here for over two years, and as every month passes, it reinforces our great decision to locate ourselves here. We have fantastic interactions with other companies here, there are socials to attend, and every client we bring here, is instantly impressed.
We have great interactions with UWE, and the academics, the legal clinic and the Health Tech Hub. The other benefit is that the community are aware of our services, and a couple of businesses here are looking to work with us to help with their products. Put simply, it has a big company feel, within a small company. We’d go stir crazy with just the 4 of us!
Finally, before I let you go back to work, what are you focusing now and what are your ambitions for the future?
In the next year, we’re bringing our products to market, which is very exciting! It is a delicate balancing act though, between product development and the consultancy work.
We’re bootstrapping the product development, with our consultancy revenues. Exploring external investment and looking to take on another employee, which is a really exciting prospect as it gives us extra bandwidth for product development.
We want to stay tapped into the medical devices market, there are new regulations coming in 2020 that demand a device must demonstrate that device and connectivity security have been taken seriously, to get their medical licence. Our solution fits in nicely. The market in is nascent and harder to penetrate, but there is an absolute need.
We have global ambitions, which we’re hoping to get the ball rolling on by targeting manufacturers of white goods and automotive producers, as they have the size and scale. The white goods market is where we’ll prioritise our time, longer term, due to our existing relationships.
However, we’re also very interested in working with smaller companies out there, who are more reactive and faster to act than large corporations, which will help provide us with great cases of our products. And just to add to our ever growing list, we’re also looking into the smart solar market. So, all in all, the future for Cerberus is looking very busy, but very bright!
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