Cyber Innovation Series 2022/23: Hacktivity Cyber Security Labs

Posted on: 03/02/2023

Another of the innovations developed as part of the CyberASAP programme is Hacktivity Cyber Security Labs, a platform providing a safe environment for hands-on hacking and learning about cyber security.

The team behind Hacktivity will be in attendance at our CyberASAP Demo Day on 22 February, where they’ll be showcasing their innovation alongside 14 other finalists. They’ll also be presenting their pitch and demonstrating their Proof of Concept for fellow innovators and potential investors.

Register here.


About Hacktivity

The need for training cyber security professionals is unavoidable and more pressing than ever. In the past year, almost half of all cyber sector firms have faced skills gaps, thanks to huge shortfalls in skilled individuals.

Current hacking platforms or cyber security education tools offer a typically poor desktop experience and limited tracking of skills development. In addition, they are prone to cheating players and only offer manually-created, static challenges which are only suitable for one-time use.

Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders and the team behind Hacktivity want to change that. Having taught cyber security for several years, they found that none of the solutions available allowed them to do what they needed. So, they developed their own platform instead.

Hacktivity is different from competitors, thanks to a code-based approach that generates new scenarios and challenges each time you access the platform. Not only does this solve problems of plagiarism, but allows students to work on real-life systems to practise attacking. The platform offers realism, depth and industry relevance not seen in any other systems.

This set-up provides continuous development, with randomisation offering endless combinations of possibilities to keep users on their toes. It aims to deliver cyber security education in a fun and safe space, where students, hobbyists and enthusiasts can learn through doing.


Meet the Hacktivity team

The team behind Hacktivity believe in making safe spaces for hacking training, making cyber security fun and in learning through doing. They are also advocates of open innovation, contributing to the sector as a whole and working with others to make things better for future generations. This open source approach is a key tool for market disruption, and allows them to build and engage with a development community.

Their code-based approach also makes them leaner and more effective than their competitors, with the ability to build things faster using building blocks, rather than starting from scratch every time.

The team consists of:

  • Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders – Project Lead, Reader and Director of the Cybercrime and Security Innovation (CSI) Centre at Leeds Beckett University
  • Julian Farrell – Business Development Manager
  • James Davis, Sofia Markusfeld, Harry Hall, Jack Biggs, Tom Harrison, Tom Shaw – Software and content development
  • Gavin Weiner, Ali Osman, and Will Gamble – Server infrastructure

The team have already seen significant impact from their innovation, with a live system used by hundreds of students.


Meet them at our Demo Day

Join us on Wednesday 22 February 2023 and be among the first to preview the team’s innovation, alongside a whole host of exciting cyber products and services from leading UK academic teams. Hear their pitches and learn more about each project in this unique showcase of ready-to-commercialise cyber innovations. Register here.


About CyberASAP

CyberASAP (Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme) is the only pre-seed accelerator programme in the cyber ecosystem which provides expertise, knowledge and support to convert academic research into commercial products and services.

CyberASAP is funded by the UK Government Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK and Innovate UK KTN.

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The only pre-seed accelerator programme in the cybersecurity ecosystem, CyberASAP (Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme) plays a unique and vital role in supporting cyber security innovation and commercialisation.


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