School IT security companies join forces at Newmarket

3:22 PM September 6, 2022

A Suffolk-based school data management company has acquired a cybersecurity firm.

Newmarket-based Wonde acquired Secure Schools for a seven-figure sum. The four-person Secure Schools team are planning to move from MIddlesbrough to Suffolk town and are actively recruiting more workers.

Wonde – which employs 130 people worldwide – also has offices in Sydney, Australia, and South Africa. It was co-founded in 2015 by chief executive Peter Dabrowa and chief technology officer Philip Clifton – both based in Cambridgeshire – and communications manager Jon Coleman who is based in Falmouth in Cornwall where the company also has an office.

The co-founders of Secure Schools are Jill Foster and Paul Alberry
– Credit: Safe Schools

Wonde – which was in the top 10 of Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 – is the data management specialist for over 25,000 schools around the world, working to ensure their data is kept and managed securely.

The acquisition complements its goal of simplifying the “often overwhelming requirements” of data security and the need to control data sharing with third parties for those in the education sector, he said.

Mr Dabrowa described it as “a hugely exciting time” for Wonde and Secure Schools.

“During our initial discussions, it was clear that both companies had a similar ambition in our support for the education sector,” he said.

“Our solutions are both simple in design yet comprehensive in what they enable schools to achieve.

“Schools are data-rich environments and Wonde has always been driven to ensure they can easily control and manage their own data through innovative technology, leaving schools to focus on what’s important – teaching. , support and learning.

“Secure Schools is a natural addition to our family, providing a solution to a growing concern within schools.”

Secure Schools will remain independent but will benefit from the resources and support of the Wonde team, allowing it to continue to grow and innovate, while providing “the high level of customer service for which it is known”, he said. added.

Secure Schools Co-Founder and Managing Director Paul Alberry said, “Wonde is a perfect fit for Secure Schools. Over the past two years, schools have adopted new technologies at an incredible rate, while cybercriminals have exploited new and existing weaknesses.

“Schools face significant challenges, including rising expectations from external stakeholders, and Wonde has a proven track record of responding quickly to emerging challenges with high-quality services.

“Secure Schools will contribute to Wonde’s mission to enable schools and applications to operate securely and efficiently by providing the highest quality, ruthlessly independent security assessments that empower schools to take control of their cybersecurity risks.”

The two companies will share resources and support functions, Wonde said.

Wonde is a leading Edtech data management provider for schools in 60 countries.

Secure Schools is an independent cybersecurity auditor and helps schools protect themselves against cyberattacks. It was co-founded in 2018 by cybersecurity scholar Paul Alberry and Jill Foster, a former multi-academy chief executive who had previously collaborated on the emerging issue of cybersecurity. They joined forces to design a prototype program to protect schools against cyberattacks.

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