top of page

Crossword Cybersecurity and Liverpool John Moores University research

UKRI-funded research project by Crossword Cybersecurity and Liverpool John Moores University digs into the causes of supply chain risk and assurance failures.

16 December 2021 – London, UK - Crossword Cybersecurity Plc (AIM:CCS, “Crossword”, the “Company” or the “Group”), the technology commercialisation company focused on cyber security and risk management, discovers new shortcomings to current supply chain risk assurance processes as part of a research project conducted in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University. The joint research project was undertaken to investigate the underlying problems and causes of failures in supply chain risk and assurance.

The research project was awarded a £233K grant (of which £158K was awarded to Crossword as per the announcement on 15 December 2020) by the Made Smarter Innovation programme, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The award was made through the digital supply chain competition, which forms part of UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Made Smarter Innovation programme.

Between April and September 2021, the project team analysed around 118,600 data points collected through 26 enlisted UK manufacturing businesses to underpin the new, original research, which includes an in-depth analysis of the Nuclear and Automotive industries.

One of the key findings from the research is that the approach to most supplier assurance programmes is fundamentally broken – namely, that businesses haven’t standardised what information they ask for, how they ask it, and how they share it. This leads to a huge amount of duplication and supplier assurance fatigue and ultimately a lack of supply chain transparency.

Prof Claire Hannibal of Liverpool John Moores University said: “The research delivered offers a contemporary investigation of current challenges to sharing information in multi-tier supply chains.”

As part of the project, leading third-party risk assurance thought leaders, Crossword Cybersecurity and Liverpool John Moores University collectively used the £233K grant to develop a new digital supply chain risk & assurance method that can address the underlying problems and causes of failures in supply chains. The knowledge acquired from the research and new concept design will provide new thinking in approaches to improving supply chain resilience.

Lola Adeyemi, Research Project Manager at Crossword Cybersecurity said: “Imagine a single supplier receiving a request for information from multiple organisations, each using slightly different wording and slightly different methods. This requires a lot of effort. Standardisation is a great solution in this situation and can be the innovative breakthrough in quite a challenging space”.

Ken Fraser, Rizikon Assurance Product Manager at Crossword Cybersecurity commented: “The study shows that information standards to improve the efficiency of information exchange are the key to supply chain resilience. This is something we have designed and are adopting in Rizikon.”

Liverpool John Moores University and Crossword Cybersecurity are currently writing up the complete set of findings for publication.

Crossword continues to collaborate with industries and organisations to help reduce systemic risk, save costs, improve supply chain resilience. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.



Crossword Cybersecurity plc – Tel: +44 (0) 20 3953 8460


Tom Ilube, Chief Executive Officer

Mary Dowd, Chief Financial Officer

Grant Thornton (Nominated Adviser) – Tel: +44 (0) 20 7383 5100

Colin Aaronson / Daphne Zhang

Hybridan LLP (Broker) – Tel: +44 (0)203 764 2341

Claire Louise Noyce

For media enquiries contact:

Lorena Duke, GingerPR - Tel: +44 (0)1932 485 300

About Crossword Cybersecurity plc

Crossword Cybersecurity plc focuses on the development and commercialisation of university research-based cyber security and risk management related software and cyber security consulting. The Group’s specialist cyber security product development and software engineering teams work with its university partners to develop the research concept into a fully-fledged commercial product that it will then take to market. The Group’s aim is to build up a portfolio of revenue generating, intellectual property based, cyber security products. Rizikon Assurance, Crossword’s leading product, is a SaaS platform that enables medium to large companies to assess and manage all risks from their suppliers. Nixer CyberML, another Crossword product, is a new tool for businesses that want to solve advanced security and cybercrime problems, such as detecting and dealing with compromised accounts, fraud, and in-application denial of service attacks. Identiproof, Crossword’s most recent product, is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) verifiable credentials compatible middleware and wallet technology. Crossword’s team of expert cyber security consultants leverages years of experience in national security, defence and commercial cyber intelligence and operations to provide bespoke advice tailored to its clients’ business needs, including threat monitoring.

About Made Smarter Innovation

Made Smarter Innovation is a national programme to help businesses who make things capitalize on new digital technologies. Our programme will support the transformation of UK’s manufacturing capabilities through the development and innovation of industrial digital technologies (IDTs). We give UK manufacturers access to a digital innovation ecosystem that helps prove their idea, quickly develop it with experts and scale it. The £300 million partnership between government and industry will provide match-funding, specialist advice and result in radical manufacturing solutions. Delivered by UK Research and Innovation.


bottom of page