Assure Technical – A Story of Opportunity, Flexibility and Growth

Sep 19, 2023 | Case Study, Cyber Essentials

We talk to Pete Rucinski, Founder and Managing Director of Assure Technical, who shares the story of his company’s growth through the Cyber Essentials scheme.

Assure Technical has been an IASME Certification Body since 2016. They have also recently been accepted as an NCSC Assured Service Provider for the Cyber Advisor scheme, proving their knowledge and understanding of Cyber Essentials, and competence in delivering practical, hands-on IT configuration and support. The gruelling Cyber Advisor assessment process also tested their ability to understand and work with small organisations.

Pete started his career as a Weapons Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy. He first cut his teeth in industry working in specialist communications and then security consultancy. Then, in 2011, Pete founded Assure Technical, which provides technical expertise to help organisations improve their security stance.

Pete says, “We initially focused on delivering system engineering consultancy services. This involved taking military best practices and applying them to the design of security systems within high-risk commercial environments such as oil fields and nuclear sites.”

He goes on to say “cyber security, or IT security as it was known back then, was a key aspect of the system engineering projects we delivered. Assure Technical became an IASME Certification Body because we saw it as an opportunity to help SMEs, who weren’t looking to procure advanced technology or systems, to improve their cyber security stance.”

With an enduring hunger for adventure, Pete decided to set sail around the world on a 47-foot yacht with his young family in 2019. After sailing down the west coast of Europe and crossing the Atlantic ocean, they found themselves in Antigua when COVID took its grip on the world. Options started to disappear and with hurricane season on its way, and many countries closing their borders and waterways, they took the decision to fly back home to the UK.

“The consultancy market pretty much dried up overnight, so we turned our focus to delivering Cyber Essentials certifications,” says Pete. “An initial lull in demand was softened by a government-funded COVID project, aimed at making the health sector more cyber secure. By participating in this scheme, Assure Technical was able to certify 30 small healthcare organisations by October 2020. Demand soon increased for Cyber Essentials, as more and more businesses prioritised cyber security and sought access to supply chains requiring certification.”

Now, in 2023, Assure Technical is 15 strong and delivering up to 200 assessments a month, alongside other services including CREST-approved penetration testing, security audits and information governance consultancy.

“We really know and understand Cyber Essentials and how it works for different types of businesses”, said Pete. “Cyber Essentials is doing the basics well. There’s no dark art to it, it’s just good, common-sense cyber controls, done in a solid, robust manner. Cyber Essentials aside, if someone came to me and said, I need you to help us get things in place to be more secure, those five technical controls would not be a bad place to start.”

Assure Technical have enjoyed a great deal of success. To date, they have helped over 750 businesses, both in the UK and abroad, improve their security stance. They won the 2023 Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber Business Award for Best Use of Technology and were shortlisted as a finalist in the High Growth Business of the Year category. They are also a Professional Business Advisor on behalf of the Worcestershire LEP Growth Hub, providing free advice and support to local businesses to help them effectively adopt technology.

“Much of our success can be attributed to the opportunities associated with the Cyber Essentials scheme,” says Pete. “If the scheme had not been there to provide a framework for the delivery of cyber security to organisations of all sizes, our business would look very different today. Another key reason for our success is our people-first approach – our genuine 4.9* Trustpilot rating is something the Assure Technical team are especially proud of”.

He goes on to say, “Helping businesses become more cyber security is really rewarding work. In the coming year, we are looking forward to providing free advice and support to Worcestershire-based businesses, as well as assisting legal aid law firms and charities that support victims of domestic abuse, as part of the Cyber Essentials funded programme.

When asked whether Pete would like to resume his circumnavigation trip, Pete replied “Yes, at some point, but it’s not on the cards in the near future. My children are at senior school now, with GCSEs, then A Levels on the horizon. For now, I’m focused on Assure Technical and firmly establishing it as a leading cyber security business.”