British crisis-assessment tech startup sets up in Malta, assisted by Malta Enterprise

Last Updated on Friday, 26 August, 2022 at 10:43 am by Andre Camilleri

CyberFish chooses Malta as its base of operations to develop custom web platform.

Melita CTO endorses their crisis simulation exercise.

CyberFish was founded in the UK by Berta Pappenheim in 2018 to help companies strengthen their human interaction and decision-making skills when dealing with cyber incidents and other crises. The start-up company was selected by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre to be part of a nationally-acclaimed cyber-security accelerator, where it was coached by technical and business mentors, including experts from NCSC and GCHQ.

In 2021, CyberFish opened an engineering centre in Malta, and employed local engineers, to build a custom web platform to deliver better exercises, analysis, and feedback of customers’ performances. The Malta centre has been so successful, that additional products and services have now been added, such as decision-making training, and a complete programme for companies, including assessments, training, and help with applying for and gaining international resilience standards.

It sought and got funding from Malta Enterprise to develop a unique digital platform; Resilience Dojo, that generates a realistic virtual and/or co-located exercise of a client’s organisation coming under some form of threat, ranging from natural disaster or a targeted cyber-attack.

A team of organisational psychologists and risk management experts then assesses the team’s crisis response and delivers a tailored learning programme for the team members, with specific, measurable targets and regular check-ins to reassess the organisation to ensure continual development.

CEO Berta Pappenheim acknowledged that Cyberfish’s relocation to Malta was motivated by the support it found through Malta Enterprise; “We found a dynamic economy and a very supportive ecosystem in Malta, I was surprised by how welcoming and open everyone was. I now live here with my family and we’ve all adapted to island life really well. Cyberfish offers an innovative service and business proposition, but Malta Enterprise understood our vision and potential right away and has great incentives for start-ups. Malta is definitely a great place for start-ups to make headway.”

Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia says that “Cyberfish is a clear example of the successful start-ups that Malta is managing to attract, also through the Startinmalta initiative. The company has shown that it had what it takes to develop what is an innovative yet increasingly essential service. Cyberfish, through their platform, is not only using Malta as their operational base, but also contributing to the requirements of our local enterprises, including critical national infrastructure, as well as invetsing in our talents and skills as they collaborate with local educational institutions.”

The company has expanded its expertise in risk assessment and crisis management for organisations’ from just cyber threats to business disruptions of all kinds.

“In today’s unprecedented times of constant change, business continuity is down to a team’s resilience. However, most business strategies do not take into account the human component. Our learning programme and records of exercising competency of team members feed directly into ISO 27001 and ISO 22301, and FCA operational resilience requirements” shares Berta, the company CEO, as she explains that the solution aims to strengthen the focus on the human element in crisis situations.

The platform Resilience Dojo has been a solution for a variety of organisations ranging from mission-critical departments in governments, law enforcement and critical infrastructure, to finance and tech companies, including Melita; one of the local telecommunications companies in Malta.

Melita’s Chief Technology Officer Simon Montanaro said, “Resilience Dojo is a novel solution in the cyber incident exercising and team building space. Cyberfish has  developed a unique methodology that helps organizations, such as Melita, to become more resilient in the digital realm. We decided to try out their simulation exercise and found it beneficial for enhancing our cyber-security controls.”

Cyberfish is not only providing its services in Malta but is also collaborating with the local vocational educational institution MCAST and the University of Malta.  Cyberfish has set up and ran a crisis response exercise, which brought together software development students from MCAST and the University of Malta in a friendly competition.

- Advertisement -