Accenture launches new security hub in Edinburgh

23 November 2018

Global consultancy Accenture has become the latest in a succession of firms to unveil a new presence in Scotland, as the country works to position itself as a post-Brexit technology hub. Accenture’s new cybersecurity hub will see it offer an experimental development lab to clients in and around Edinburgh, as companies look to fortify their defences against the growing threat of industrial hackers.

As the UK and Scottish governments look to incentivise technology-based start-ups to innovate and disrupt the economy, something which is seen as a possible growth-driver after the culmination of Brexit – consulting firms have been moving north of Hadrian’s wall, in an attempt to tap into the growing tech sector there. In the last 12 months alone this has seen the likes of Mazars, BJSS, Leyton and Deloitte grow their operations in key Scottish population centres such as Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Now, Accenture has become the latest consultancy to take steps into Scotland, with the unveiling of a new security hub in Edinburgh, aimed at protecting clients against application vulnerabilities and cyber threats. In partnership with a number of businesses including Deep Secure, Thales and Micro Focus as well as enterprise software providers such as SAP and Oracle, the new hub will be used to develop technology that addresses “the challenges being faced by clients globally.”

Accenture launches new security hub in Edinburgh

According to reports in newspaper The Scotsman, Accenture said that its facility has been designed to be an “industry-leading application security co-innovation, experimental and development lab.”

Marshal Luusa, Accenture’s Application Security lead, said of the new facility, “The launch of the application security hub is a significant step in the fight against application threats and cyber-crime. A UK first, the hub will see Edinburgh at the forefront of threat modelling, working alongside leading businesses in the field of security to identify, communicate, and understand threats and mitigations whilst developing cost effective solutions. The hub will also benefit from alliances with Scotland’s outstanding academic sector. The Scottish team will work alongside the academic sector to foster and support the next generation of security experts.”

Accenture is the sixth largest cybersecurity consultancy in the world. After a 2017 of rapid spending toward a $1.8 billion global target, the aggressive expansion of Accenture helped see security consulting revenues at the firm rise by 6.2% to hit $601 million. 



Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”