Appointment of new CEO, Ian Thomas, and acquisition signals next phase of growth for wholly UK-based Sapphire

Darlington, UK – 27th September 2023 – Sapphire, the UK based pure-play cyber security solutions provider, today announced the acquisition of Awen Collective, a cyber security software company dedicated to reducing the risks of cyberattacks to Operational Technology (OT). The acquisition enables Sapphire to expand its service offering and provide support to UK organisations seeking to converge their IT and OT infrastructures and secure them from cyber threats.

With the global OT security market predicted to be worth $38.2 billion by 2028 and targeted cyber attacks on OT environments continuing to rise, organisations are seeking guidance and support how to identify and mitigate cyber security threats on their converged environments. To address this under-served market, Sapphire sought to expand its portfolio and bring in-house the expansive knowledge and experience of the OT cyber domain that Awen has amassed.

Awen Collective, based in South Wales, specialises in the discovery and analysis of OT systems across Defence, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Utilities in the emerging OT Security market. The acquisition of Awen’s IP and assets includes its full technology stack. The stack boasts Dot, which focusses on OT asset discovery and vulnerability management, and Profile, an industrial cyber compliance management system.

Paul Dennis, Chairman of Awen, comments: “As both an investor and board member, the growth and development of Awen from an initial research idea to a fully functional, best in class solution, for OT asset discovery and risk management, has been an incredible journey. With increased legislation coming to the fore and organisations facing heightened risks from cyber attackers seeking to cause disruption to society, it is time to look at how organisations can be effectively guided to secure both their IT and OT environments for maximum security. Sapphire is undoubtedly the best fit for Awen as we work together to reach exciting new clients and sectors, while continuing to deliver on our mission to make society safer.”

The acquisition of Awen marks a new phase in the growth and strategy of Sapphire, a family-owned organisation with a 26-year heritage in the cyber security solutions market and follows the appointment of Ian Thomas as CEO. Ian joined Sapphire at the start of September, with prior roles held at NCC Group, Sopra Steria, Colt Technology Services and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Ian Thomas, CEO of Sapphire, adds: “At the heart of Sapphire’s mission is to ensure that organisations and customers are working with a true partner that offers guidance and support when they most need it. Too many cyber security purchasing decisions are driven by fear, but it doesn’t need to be that way. We stand with CISOs and empathise with the-pressures they and security teams face. We partner with them to filter the noise and focus on what will make a real difference to their business.  The business’s commitment to being a true partner to all its customers is what made joining Sapphire an enticing and exciting opportunity for me at this crucial stage of business growth.”

“Awen’s innovation, credibility and expertise in this sector is unrivalled and will enable us to accelerate our interests in the OT space. It was clear from the start that Sapphire and Awen share the same values and culture, which made this acquisition the natural next step for both businesses. The OT Security market is the next big growth area for the cyber security industry and one Sapphire is now well placed to address” concluded Ian. “ 


About Sapphire

Sapphire is a privately held, UK based pure play cyber security company offering Professional Services, Consulting, Technology selection and implementation Services and Managed Security Services through its UK based SOC. With people based in England, Scotland and Wales, they have been offering broad coverage geographically and in their solutions since 1996.

About Awen

Awen Collective is an Industrial Cyber Security Software company whose mission is to make society safer by reducing cyber risks within the sectors on which we rely daily.  Awen’s products include: Profile, an industrial cyber security compliance system, and Dot, an Operational Technology asset visibility and vulnerability management system.  Awen Collective was founded in Wales in 2017 and is a registered company in England & Wales with a wholly-owned subsidiary in the Netherlands.

Media Contacts:

Code Red Communications for Sapphire


T: 01276 486000

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