Now and again, massive organisations or businesses in the Cyber Security industry will set up new branches or headquarters across the world. When this occurs, not only does this bring a massive boost of investment to the local area, but also increases the technological advancement of the area.

In this blog, we’ll be using the recently opened Cyber security laboratory in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire as an example.


The Cyber security lab itself

The facility is over 5,000 sq ft (464 sq metres) and is based near the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ.

The company behind it, IOActive, believes it is the first privately-owned lab of its size anywhere in the world.

IOActive is an independent Cyber security services firm, active in several areas. They are known for reporting high-severity security vulnerabilities in a variety of products. IOActive has offices in Seattle, London, Dubai and Madrid.

When we mentioned that they test for vulnerabilities in a “variety of products”, this specifically can include vehicles, planes and industrial systems.

The IOActive Hardware Lab is big enough to test how safe cars and small aircraft are from cyber-attacks, as reported by the BBC.

Cyber security blog, IOActive lab interior photo

The company believes it is the biggest privately-owned lab of its type anywhere in the world.


What is the vision for this lab?

On its website, IOActive wrote: “We continue to strive to connect with the Cyber security/research communities, as we follow our vision to making the world a safer place: conducting the research that fuels our security services to help you strengthen your security and operational posture and resiliency.”

At a launch event, the company showed the scale of the new facility by manoeuvring a cherry picker inside it.

It believes the systems used to control industrial equipment could be vulnerable to hacking.

Ivan Reedman, Director of Secure Engineering at IOActive said: “When you add an intelligent interface – a remote control – suddenly you have all the power for this system controlled remotely. So we want to make sure the interface from the controller to this device is secure and is not vulnerable. In the event that it was – imagine the damage something this size could do.”

Previously, the firm has shown it could hack into a car and turn off its engine while it was being driven on a US highway. A scary thought no?

Despite that, they remain confident the Cyber security industry is making the world safer. Ivan Reedman added: “Firms like ours have done a good job at finding these vulnerabilities and removing them. I’m personally not too worried.”

The new facility is part of efforts to create a Cyber park close to GCHQ on the outskirts of Cheltenham.

Gloucestershire County Council says: “The Cyber park would be an area dedicated to cyber-related business and education development that is supported by surrounding health, housing, and leisure facilities.”



In conclusion, as new businesses continue to emerge and established companies continue to thrive like IOActive, it’s clear that Gloucester’s future is bright.

The city’s investment in infrastructure and innovation has created an ecosystem that is ripe for growth, and it’s exciting to see what the future holds for Gloucester’s Cyber security scene.

We hope you’ve liked this blog and that you’ll stick around to see our future releases, covering everything from recent IT News to Knowledgebase articles. Thanks for reading!