Cybersecurity remains a key issue for businesses in the UK, with hundreds of thousands lost each year to cybercrime by UK businesses. In a bid to further expand its cybersecurity offerings and capabilities, PwC has acquired identity management firm Praxism, with the firm’s fifteen staff to be integrated into its IT Assurance practice. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
The cost to UK organisations from cybersecurity breaches remains high, as many as nine in ten large organisations and three quarters of small organisations are affected each year by cybercrime. The average cost for large organisations run between £1.5 million to £3.14 million, while for small organisations the range starts at £75,200 and goes up to around £310,800. Recent PwC research shows that companies are most often breached by or through staff – either from phishing attacks or internally. Finding ways to minimise the risks to business has become a priority for more and more companies as boardrooms start to take the risks seriously.
In response to the growing cybersecurity threat, organisations are bolstering their IT security frontier, and in doing so, are generating buoyant demand for related services. For advisory firms, the area represents one of the key growth areas in the marketplace, and in line with the monetisation potential they are actively bolstering their cybersecurity capabilities. In the latest deal in the domain, accounting and consulting giant PwC has picked up Praxism, a cyber-security, identity and access management firm founded in 2008 by Derek Gordon. The company helps client organisations meet a range of challenges in the domain of cyber security and identity management, across sectors, including the public sector, healthcare, education and financial services. Praxism’s service portfolio spans consulting, training, support and managed services.
The acquisition of Edinburgh based Praxism – the two firms have been working together for several years – significantly expands PwC’s cyber security team in Scotland. The deal will see Gordon and thirteen of his staff integrated into PwC’s Edinburgh offices, while one specialist will relocate to the firm’s Leeds office.
Derek Gordon, Praxism founder, says that he is “delighted” with the joining of forces, adding “The opportunity this affords our people and our business is outstanding and clearly recognises the shared culture and values between our organisations. I look forward to identify and develop new growth opportunities for this strand of PwC’s cyber practice, and to working with the Cyber security team here in the UK and across its global network.”
Looking ahead, James Chalmers, UK head of assurance at PwC, comments that with the number of high profile breaches increasing within the UK the demand for managing user identity is likely to remain on board room agenda in coming years. “Derek and the Praxism team really are at the top of the league in this specialist area and, as a result, I believe they are an exceptional addition to our rapidly growing and market leading Cyber security business.”