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Ploughshare Innovations has licensed technology innovations to many UK companies across a wide range of industries. CDCAT® is an example of an advanced cyber software tool which was developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and licensed to a leading UK-based supplier of cyber security products and services, APMG.

The Cyber Defence Capability Assessment Tool (CDCAT®) is a software tool which measures the effectiveness of an organisation’s cyber defences. Suitable for the continuously evolving cyber threat landscape, it provides a rapid yet comprehensive assessment of existing cyber defences to give users the ability to evaluate cyber security risks and to identify and prioritise improvements.

Originally developed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), CDCAT® delivers advances in cyber assessment by harnessing the strengths of multiple cyber security controls.

Inputs from commercial, military, and intelligence sources around the world including NATO, ISO 27000 together with leading independent bodies are included within CDCAT®. It combines these to generate a comprehensive set of standards which address multiple aspects of cyber risk management.

In their approach to licensing, Ploughshare sought to realise the potential benefits that CDCAT® could bring to the product portfolio of a UK business, as well as the impact it could have on improving the cyber defences of governments, businesses and critical national infrastructure worldwide.

Technology Transfer

A number of companies expressed an interest in the technology, however, APMG International was selected as the preferred licensee due to their reputation as a leading provider of cyber security training accreditation, certification, and consulting services; the applicability of CDCAT® with their current portfolio; and their ability to take it quickly to market given their experience in the cyber domain and their existing customer base.

Noel Botha, VP Commercialisation at Ploughshare and responsible for the post deal management of CDCAT®, commented:

CDCAT® is a great fit with APMG’s cyber security portfolio and it will help them to expand into new markets and territories. From the outset, APMG have been highly knowledgeable about the technology, what it can deliver, and how to integrate it into their portfolio of services to deliver best in class cyber security services.

At the time, APMG had recognised the potential of the rapidly growing cyber security market and identified that a highly reputable and effective technology like CDCAT® would help them to capitalise on this.


Since taking the license, APMG has made a significant investment in the development of the CDCAT® technology to make it into a commercially viable product. The new software combines the original innovative technology and verifiable scientific data to deliver a robust platform suitable for APMG’s world-leading cyber security services.

In support, Ploughshare has been committed to the ongoing development of the product, helping to deliver complex Intellectual Property (IP) and providing access to the inventors during the technology transfer process.

Ploughshare has been a truly supportive partner in bringing CDCAT® to market and we look forward to continuing to work with them as CDCAT® expands internationally.

Richard Pharro
CEO of APMG International


CDCAT® is now a key part of APMG’s cyber offering, with the company delivering CDCAT® cyber security assessments and advice, as well as licensing, training and accrediting others to use the technology. With 152 best practice security controls built into the tool, CDCAT® provides a holistic cyber security health check. It has enabled APMG to expand their cyber portfolio well beyond traditional compliance.

It has also further strengthened APMG’s reputation in the cyber security market, which has enabled the company’s portfolio of products to grow to include, for example, GCHQ Certified Training.


Customers such as HM Land Registry have found the CDCAT® assessment process to be quick, straightforward and suited to systems of any size. They highlighted how helpful it was that results were produced within minutes and how useful the report generated was for everyone from system administrators to board members. The results from the CDCAT® assessment enabled HM Land Registry to obtain funding for a project to improve the maturity of their cyber defences.

CDCAT® has also opened up international markets for APMG and is set to remain a key product in their cyber security portfolio. International expansion is also planned through resellers, with markets already opened up in Europe, Africa, South America, Canada and the USA.

CDCAT provides an integrated tool to enhance and standardize cyber security assessments. This framework provides non-technical managers and business leaders with a comprehensive understanding of their cybersecurity posture.

Colonel Boutrig
Directeur de l’Assistance, la Formation, le Contrôle et l’Expertise, DGSSI

To further maximise the benefits APMG has received from licensing CDCAT®, Ploughshare has also provided commercial advice, forwarded sales opportunities, and engaged in client discussions to support APMG’s sales process.

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