Cyber security start-up XQ Cyber appoints administrators

04 December 2019 3 min. read

Professionals from David Rubin & Partners have been appointed administrators to cyber security start-up XQ Cyber. The firm seems to have declined rapidly, with employees noting one month ago that its “money issues” had become more apparent as the year wore on.

The impact of cybercrime is estimated to cost the UK roughly up to $30 billion per year. As a result, despite generally flat IT budgets, the increasing threat of cyber-attacks has led to greater spending on security in both the public and private sectors.

In recent years, Britain has seen an upsurge in spending on cyber security – both public and private sector. The UK Government is currently implementing a digital transformation agenda to move more services online, and increasing amounts of citizen and customer data require protection. As such, demand for the cyber security services has boomed in recent years.

Cyber security start-up XQ Cyber appoints administrators

At the start of 2019, the UK cyber security market was valued at over $5 billion and is widely regarded as the largest cyber security market in Europe. This is not to say all businesses in the sector are guaranteed cash cows, however. As with any market which suddenly becomes a hit, cyber security has attracted a huge number of new competitors, leading to an over-saturation of the market which has left many firms struggling to make ends meet.

Amid this, UK security start-up XQ Cyber has gone into administration, making around 60 people redundant in the process. The firm – which developed CyberScore, a security testing and rating service that converts raw vulnerability data into more easily digestible risk management plans – appointed administrators from London-based David Rubin & Partners, according to documents filed with Companies House.

Based in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, XQ Digital Resilience – trading as XQ Cyber – XQ Cyber had undergone a recruitment drive in 2019. Some XQ Cyber staffers had joined the firm as little as six weeks ago, amid a series of seemingly positive developments for the firm throughout the year. The public sector UKCloud had also reportedly added XQ Cyber’s CyberScore cyber security testing and rating tool to its portfolio in May, potentially creating a lucrative sales channel in the process.

The news seems to have come as a surprise, with the company’s staff having largely expressed positive views of the firm’s future on employment site Glassdoor. From July onwards, however, the situation appeared to deteriorate. One worker stated the company was transitioning from being a start-up to a larger business, and cautioned that with that “comes growing pains.” Just three months later, another reviewer suggested the firm had “gone downhill fast,” adding that the firm’s “money issues” were clear, as there was “no consistent pay day or supplier payments,” while there was “poor transparency on business changes.”