Download PDF version Contact company

Crossword Cybersecurity Plc, the technology commercialization company focused on cyber security and risk management, is pleased to announce its acquisition of the whole of the share capital of Verifiable Credentials Limited (VCL), the provider of Identiproof, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) verifiable credentials compatible middleware and wallet technology, with whom Crossword is already working.

Identiproof

Identiproof is a key component in verifiable credentials systems

Identiproof, VCL’s middleware technology suite of products, is a key component in verifiable credentials systems, such as COVID-19 status certificates and their issuer, verifier, and wallet applications.

Identiproof is currently being used in a UK Government-funded trial of COVID-19 certificates for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), which Crossword Cybersecurity Plc is also involved in, separately for a client in the entertainment sector, and with another client in the United Arab Emirates.

Identiproof will become Crossword’s third product, joining Rizikon and Nixer in the portfolio, as a cryptography-based cyber security product.

Acquisition of Verifiable Credentials Limited (VCL)

Crossword Cybersecurity Plc has agreed to pay a total consideration of up to 2.75 million pounds for Verifiable Credentials Limited. The payments are structured as follows:

  • An initial payment of100,000 and 300,000 pounds in company shares, issued in two tranches - 150,000 pounds on completion and 150,000 pounds on the first anniversary of completion.
  • 100,000 pounds in company shares payable on achievement of the first VCL commercial license deal to the NHS or another UK Government organization.
  • On the first anniversary of the transaction, up to 750,000 pounds in company stock payable on a straight-line pro rata basis on achievement of revenue between 100,000 and 325,000 pounds, in the first 12 months post acquisition.
  • On the second anniversary of the transaction, up to 1,500,000 pounds in company shares payable on a straight-line pro rata basis on achievement of revenue between 250,000 and 625,000 pounds in the second 12 months post acquisition.
  • All shares will be issued at a price based on the average mid-market price for the three months prior to the date of issue.

Issuing of digital certificates and documents

Identiproof is a central technology in applications for the issuing of digital certificates and documents that cannot be forged or transferred, and that respect the privacy of the holders of those certificates. It does this through the process of selective disclosure, whereby the recipient requests the minimum of information in conformance with GDPR.

Identiproof is one of the first systems built to the 2019 W3C recommendations - The Verifiable Credentials Data Model and Web Authentication (FIDO2), two new global web security standards. This technology has wide ranging applications including digital ticketing, certificates, licenses, memberships, passports, proof of ownerships, and the list goes on.

Achieved W3C verifiable credentials standard

David Chadwick will join Crossword as Product Director for verifiable credentials products

VCL achieved this early adoption of the W3C verifiable credentials standard because Emeritus Professor, David Chadwick, VCL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), is one of the six co-authors and editors of the standard, and a well-known expert in the field of digital identity and verifiable credentials. 

David Chadwick will join Crossword as Product Director for verifiable credentials products. David Chadwick incorporated VCL in April 2019 and it has been assigned the intellectual property from the University of Kent. David will be joined at Crossword by VCL’s specialist development team. 

Bidding for grants in the UK, EU and overseas

VCL has successfully bid for a number of prestigious grants in the United Kingdom, the European Union and overseas. For the 18 months ended 30 September 2020, VCL made a loss of 2,842 pounds and had a deficiency of assets of 2,742 pounds, at that date.

Crossword Cybersecurity Plc first started working with VCL when David Chadwick, as Professor of Information Systems Security at the University of Kent, brought his academic team to participate in the InnovateUK / UKRI CyberASAP program in 2019. 

Training for cyber security startups

Crossword was, and still is, a provider of training to the cyber security academic startups that go through that program.

Jake Holloway, Crossword’s Chief Product Officer (CPO) maintains close relationships with the CyberASAP alumni, and it became obvious that with the opportunities in the W3C standard and Identiproof, David Chadwick and his talented team would be an incredible asset to Crossword for entering this new and exciting market.

Issue of Ordinary Shares:

  • Crossword will issue the vendors 423,730 ordinary shares of 0.5p each (Ordinary Shares) at a price of 35.4p per share, in consideration of the initial payment of shares worth 150,000 pounds.
  • Application has been made for the admission of the 423,730 ordinary shares to trading on AIM (Admission), with admission expected to take place on or around 2 June 2021.

Total Voting Rights

Crossword Cybersecurity Plc will have 58,042,630 ordinary shares in issue with voting rights attached

For the purposes of the Financial Conduct Authority's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules (DTRs), following Admission, Crossword Cybersecurity Plc will have 58,042,630 ordinary shares in issue with voting rights attached. Crossword holds no shares in treasury.

This figure of 58,042,630 may be used by shareholders in the company as the denominator for the calculations, by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in the company, under the DTRs.

Digital, secure and privacy-respecting credentials

Tom Ilube, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Crossword Cybersecurity plc, commented, “VCL has unique knowledge and a fantastic product in the new era of W3C verifiable credentials, which can and should power COVID-19 certificates, as well as all manner of digital, secure and privacy-respecting credentials, certificates, tickets and proofs of ownership.”  

Tom adds, “We know Professor Chadwick and his start-up team well from CyberASAP and believe Identiproof is a perfect fit for Crossword as our third product. This acquisition comes at a time when we are experiencing great success from strategies to increase Rizikon market penetration, particularly the launch of Rizikon Pro. In the last 6 months this has increased 10 fold, with the number of Rizikon users exceeding 250.

David Chadwick, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Verifiable Credentials Limited, commented, “Identiproof is unique in the market and with Crossword’s great structure, connections and sales team, we’re expecting to achieve excellent revenue growth.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Why Access Control Is Important
Why Access Control Is Important

When we talk about security, people are often quick to jump to conclusions and picture bouncers, heavy steel doors and alarms that go off as soon as a door is opened. Access control is in fact one of the most common and least invasive methods of adding extra security to a home, communal or business premises – controlling who is able to enter a space based on the use of entry codes, key fobs, and/or access cards. Communal flats and office blocks are where access control is often an important factor in keeping the building secure, though private residences also have their own lowkey methods of access control with burglar alarms and personalized codes. With that said, what is it that makes access codes so effective across so many spaces – and why are they so important in today’s society? Benefits of access control Every time you visit an office space, enter a block of flats, or drive into a gated community, you will likely be faced with restricted access and a code pad – plus a button to ring through if you are a visitor. This is a prime example of access control, whereby the owner of the premises has installed a gate or security door which requires a code to enter from the outside. Pressing the request button puts you through to a controller who can then either grant access or deny access. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure Some of these code pads have cameras so that the controller can see the visitor – some just have a microphone and speaker. The primary benefit of access control is that it ensures that a space remains secure – only visited by those who are granted access. This restriction helps to keep residents and property safe, not only deterring burglars but ensuring that they are unable to gain entry without permission. Access control panels Some of the examples of access control panels in use include: Private car parks, granting access to employees or residents or paying guests based on the location. Communal buildings and flat entranceways, granting access to residents. These kinds of access control panels will have multiple buttons, one for each flat so that guests can buzz and speak to their contacts. Offices, granting access to employees and their guests. Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked Another key benefit of access control is that entry and exit data can be tracked, and data can be used for anything from tracking the use of a building, to understanding and logging when individuals have entered and left the premises. For those who have ever watched a Detective drama, you will know how crucial this kind of data can be to determining alibis! Replacing lost keys Inhouse, this can also be useful in identifying who is around when an incident occurs, and in ascertaining how many people are in the premises in the event of a fire or emergency situation. On top of knowing when individuals are accessing certain spaces, access controls can also be used to restrict access to spaces during certain time periods – for example at the end of a shift, or overnight. This is most often found in commercial spaces and car parks, as private residences will grant access at all hours to residents. Access control plays an important role in security and can impact everything from your insurance bills and insurance cover to the amount you spend on replacing lost keys. By keeping certain spaces restricted, only granting access to those who are supposed to be there for work or through their private residence, you are able to keep individuals safe and protect them from the effect of theft. Preventing unlawful access Access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur In a workspace, access control is particularly crucial in tracking the movement of employees should an incident occur, as well as making the life of your team much easier in allowing them to move between spaces without security personnel and site managers present. It can also reduce the outgoings of a business by reducing the need for security individuals to be hired and paid to remain on site. For a private homeowner or flat owner, access control is what grants you the privacy and security that you deserve in your own space. Whether the control is placed on the outside of a bin store, car parks, communal entrance way or your own personal flat, creating barriers to prevent unlawful access can make a private residence more appealing to tenants or homeowners, and can also provide information and data about who has entered a building and when. Vacant property security The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget, your requirements, and the way that you intend to use access control across your site or inside space. For the most part, access control is considered to be a cost effective way of increasing security, cutting back on personnel while ensuring that access is only granted to those who are supposed to be a specific space. The value of access control is that there are a range of solutions according to your budget According to construction site and vacant property security company Sicuro, access control systems with a built in camera are becoming increasingly popular, particularly on the exterior of a building when it comes to granting access to visitors – as those inside can see who is asking to be let in. Managing access control Meanwhile, across inside workspaces and sites, access control managed by pin numbers or fingerprints is often sufficient. Access control is an important part of modern security, ensuring that everywhere from office spaces to private residences are protected from unwanted or unlawful visitors. For the most part, access control is managed automatically, tracking and storing data on who has entered and exited a specific space and at what time – though some examples are tracked and managed manually (for example in a school reception or private residence).

Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control
Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control

For more than 22 years, Open Options, Addison, Texas, has developed access control solutions that connect to leading security technologies to deliver a full-scale solution based on each customer’s unique needs. In 2018, Open Options was acquired by ACRE, which already owned the Vanderbilt and ComNet brands. To find out the latest, we interviewed Chuck O’Leary, President of Open Options. Q: It has been two and a half years since Open Options was acquired by ACRE. Briefly describe that transition and how the company is stronger today because of it. O’Leary: The ACRE transition really focused on integrating our access control solution, DNA Fusion, with Vanderbilt Industries technologies in order to further our reach in the market and enhance our portfolios. With their support, we have been able to accelerate innovations and expand our global reach. Overall, it has been a great experience to be a part of the ACRE organization, and it has opened the doors to new opportunities for us both here in the states and globally.  Q: What is "Connect Care" and how does it benefit integrators and/or end user customers? O’Leary: For those unfamiliar with the world of access control, it can often be a little overwhelming when first introduced; however, we strive to make our products as easy to use and intuitive as possible, with Connect Care being no different. Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market. It serves as a 24/7 bridge from our customers to services like technical support, platform support, professional services, and training. By providing these options for our customers, we can better empower them with the knowledge and expertise of our DNA Fusion access control system and ensure their success with the product.  Q: Who are the new customers entering the market for access control systems in the wake of the pandemic, and how should they be approached/managed differently? O’Leary: Over the last year, there has been a huge demand for access control systems as remote work increased due to COVID-19, and even now, as employees and students are heading back into the offices and schools. Organizations are realizing that having an outdated security system is no longer robust enough for the rapid advancement of technology that we witnessed over the course of the pandemic, and really the past few years. For those who are just dipping their toe into a new access control deployment, the most important thing they can do is to search for a provider who has a solution that is easily integrated, scalable, and provides excellent training and resources. Q: Define the term "touchless access control" and explain why it is gaining a higher profile in the post-pandemic world. O’Leary: The interesting thing about access control is that it has almost always been touchless. Many organizations are looking for robust solutions that are touchless and can be utilized remotely, and it's fairly easy to understand why a solution like this would become widely popular because of COVID-19. Integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizationsThe process of using access control to streamline security infrastructures is not a new concept by any means, but due to the rapid development in technology over the past few years, more integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizations, while still supplying the touchless and remote-based features. Q: What do you see as the future course of the changing technology trends we see in today's market (such as mobile credentials, cloud-based systems, cybersecurity, etc.)? O’Leary: As we continue to tread through the different technological developments in the market today, we are noticing that mobile credentials and biometrics are becoming increasingly popular. As cybersecurity and mobility continue to become more important, we are also seeing the rapid jump to the cloud. By utilizing cloud-based systems, an organization is not hindered by a lack of storage or old software and gains the flexibility to scale their security system as their business grows. Q: How will the access control market look different five years from now versus today? What about 10 years from now? O’Leary: Within the next five years, I suspect that access control will continue to make the move towards cloud-based systems and utilize mobile credentials and biometrics. In 10 years, I think all access control will be open platform and many more organizations will embrace cloud solutions for increased functionality. Also, innovations will continue to be the drivers behind new deployments with some installations being biometrics only and include recognizing fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition, and voice. Q: What is the biggest challenge currently facing the access control market, and how should manufacturers (including Open Options) be addressing the challenge? O’Leary: One of the biggest challenges facing the physical access control market is organizations actually making the shift to more up-to-date access control systems. Organizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiencesOrganizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiences — ones that are focused on integration, newer features, cybersecurity, and ease of monitoring. Access control manufacturers should be addressing this challenge by creating integratable, scalable systems that are easily managed and provide a structured, streamlined approach for an organization’s security infrastructure. Q: What is the biggest misconception about access control? O’Leary: Access control is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and some organizations might have different standards or assets that need protection. This is why it's vital to know the risks your organization faces when speaking with access control providers — to ensure the best possible outcome for your specific needs. It's important to remember that whatever access control system is chosen should proactively mitigate any risks, be easily taught to and successfully used by employees, and be scalable with your organization. No matter the line of work, a proper access control system should streamline the security infrastructure and lessen stress on the security team and employees.

Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control
Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control

Automatic gates remain an increasingly popular security choice for family homes, business premises or public buildings – anywhere that full control over access is needed. While there is much to consider for installers when advising clients on the right solution for their property, from the size, weight and cost of a gate system, it’s useful to be aware of the latest developments in the market, as this can help to find the right option to fit their needs. The need for speed Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open, and there are many factors to take into consideration, when advising on which option to use. However, swing gate motors tend to be slower than the speeds achievable for sliding gates, which means the latter are usually more popular, especially for commercial sites where timing can be among the more important factors. One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors, such as those from Bft Automation, which allow for opening and closing at a quicker speed than has previously been achievable. Fast authorized access control From a security point of view, the ability to allow people and goods in and out of a property at a quicker pace reduces the risk of unauthorized entry, while waiting for a gate to close – an important consideration in both commercial and residential contexts. Other benefits of a faster motor include reduced waiting times. This can be particularly useful for properties in busy areas, where a vehicle could risk blocking traffic, while waiting to turn into a site controlled by a slower gate. Faster motors Also, a faster motor could potentially reduce the risk of an accident from vehicles entering a property at speed. For example, this might happen if someone was making their first visit to a property situated off a fast road in an unfamiliar area. Beyond these practical considerations, in today’s fast-paced world, people aren’t as used to having to wait for things and this applies to the time it takes to get in and out of their own property. So, security benefits aside, faster motors are likely to be more appealing for clients who have sliding gates fitted to their domestic property and who prioritize convenience. The choice of which of the new faster motors to use will be impacted by a number of factors, including the weight of the gates. Essentially, the lighter the gate is the higher the speed achievable. And, as always, it’s important to make sure that any installation complies with safety regulations. Intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems, which update the level of torque required to perform the gate’s operation, allowing it to work at the optimum level, regardless of weather conditions, temperature or the degree of wear and tear on the device. Depending on the typical weather conditions experienced at the site and the anticipated frequency of use, it’s worth looking at options that take these factors into account. Importance of security rights In some scenarios, it’s important for particular individuals to have security rights. In which case, there are motors available that come with personalized keys, which are unique, providing an additional level of security. Installers often face the challenge of fitting gate motors in confined spaces, potentially making for a time consuming and technically demanding task. Available space When you only have a small space to work with, simple details can go a long way to helping you. For example, by putting the fastening screws on the front of a motor’s casing, installation and maintenance are easier and more convenient, even in particularly compact areas. Working with suppliers that offer more than just a manual means you’ll have access to advice and support on how new products work in practice and what you need to consider before advising on an installation.