Somehow it feels like we’re well into 2021 already, although I know many have just returned to work after the holiday period. This is undoubtedly down to the fact that there’s so much happening at Cyan and because the year has started off at a fast pace to prepare for everything that is to come.
Looking back, 2020 wasn’t the year we planned, but we’ve made some huge steps forward and we’re coming out of it in a strong position.
The year started for Cyan with the appointment in January of new chair Paul Brennan who brought a wealth of commercial experience to steer our company through growth internationally. In March, Cyan and PUBLIC co-hosted an industry round table which led to the formation of a working group to look at setting up a new industry association. Named OSTIA, (the Online Safety Tech Industry Association) we launched this new association in April, with support from MP Caroline Dinenage (Minister for Digital and Culture), Internet Watch Foundation, WeProtect Global Alliance and NSPCC. Leading UK safety tech companies including Crisp Thinking, SafeToNet, Yoti, Securium, Super Awesome and DragonflAI are founder members and our membership has since grown to 21.
As the impact of COVID-19 started to slow down some of our customer facing projects, we turned our attention to developing new products in digital forensics and new technology for online safety. By July we were able to demonstrate Cyan Protect to help online platforms block harmful content, and a new technology to do the same in end-to-end encrypted messaging applications without violating user privacy. In September we were able to announce a new partnership with California based Susteen to bring our technology to their mobile forensics device, extending our reach to scanning mobile phones and tablets – a capability our existing customers are calling for. We followed this in October by announcing a partnership with MCMS to deliver our technology as a plugin to the Detego digital forensics products. December then brought a welcome press release with NCMEC (the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children) in Washington, who confirmed that after extensive testing they had favourably assessed our tech, saying “we have assessed Cyan’s triage tool, and we believe it will work well to quickly and effectively identify child sexual abuse materials. We believe this technology can cut the time needed to point investigators in the right direction to more directly safeguard children.” This endorsement from such a prestigious and highly thought of stateside organisation cannot be underestimated. A great foundation for more work in the USA next year!
As I alluded to earlier, there is much in the pipeline at Cyan for 2021. Things are progressing at pace and I look forward to sharing more across the coming months.