Cyber Experts help Autosermo gear up for expansion

April 4th, 2022

A digital agency is primed for expansion following a successful collaboration with north west cyber security experts.

Autosermo, which develops automated chat and voice messaging technology for a range of public and private sector clients, worked with the Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry to develop enhancements to its offering in a cyber-secure way.

Steven Booth, founder and chief executive of Manchester-based Autosermo, said the company has been able to improve internal processes, refine the customer experience and win new clients after teaming up with the Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry.

The Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry is a £6m scheme which helps innovative companies to develop digital products and services in a cyber-secure way.

More than 130 business have benefited from the initiative since its launch in 2018.

It brings together experts from Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester, the University of Salford and Lancaster University to share their expertise with SMEs and help them to innovate and grow while defending data, systems and software from cyber-attacks.

In partnership with the Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry, companies undertake research and development projects which are fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Autosermo builds bespoke messaging technology for organisations and companies worldwide, including government departments and Citizens Advice as well as manufacturers and retail giants such as Greggs.

Much of its work has historically involved creating dashboards that enable its clients to manage machine-learning driven responses to customer queries and searches via Facebook.

However, Steven said companies and organisations are increasingly looking to develop their own non-social media messenger software as well as expand their focus on platforms such as WhatsApp and TikTok.

He said: “We may be looking at a post-Facebook world, whereby firms place greater reliance on their own in-house development of messenger software – through which they are the sole controller of the customers’ data – as well as expanding to other social media platforms, such as TikTok.

“The advice and assistance we have received from the Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry has played a vital part in enabling us to further develop our technology and gear up for significant expansion.

“A series of workshops provided a valuable insight into current thinking on security excellence and techniques.

“What followed was a technical review, recommendations and user experience testing, which provided tangible outcomes that we could deploy in the business.

“Being able to demonstrate the organisational and application security of our technology has allowed us to on-board more customers and develop our offering in a way which gives clients and stakeholders great confidence that our technology is secure and more resistant to cyber-attacks.”

Dr Allen Fairchild, of Salford University, who is one of the Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry team of experts, said: “Working with Steven at Autosermo was a pleasure. He was fully engaged with the process and had a very positive attitude towards cyber security and our programme.

“His willingness to work with us meant he was open and transparent, sharing all the requested information which allowed us to review his processes and carry out a security audit, enabled us to provide the best possible bespoke assistance to enhance his business strategy.”

Steven said: “The Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry provided crucial and invaluable help for us, enabling us to grow and take Autosermo to the next level.

“Its input has demonstrated that a security audit before planning any other works will result in better security practices and downstream cost savings.”