BSI, the business standards company, today announced the acquisition of Espion Ltd and Espion UK, experts at managing and securing corporate information, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.  The deal will see Espion become an operating subsidiary of BSI’s Professional Services business and will function under the name, “Espion – A BSI Professional Services Company”.

Espion Managing Director Colman Morrissey and Colm Murphy Espion Director, Head of eDiscovery and Digital Forensics
Espion Managing Director Colman Morrissey and Colm Murphy Espion Director, Head of eDiscovery and Digital Forensics

The acquisition of Espion expands BSI’s Professional Services business which has grown its consultancy capability globally following recent acquisitions in the US.  It also reinforces BSI as the authority in Information Resilience having been the originator of the internationally recognized ISO 27000 series of Information Security Standards and is the global leader in providing training and certification to ISO 27001, the established best practice in Information Security Management Systems (ISMS).

Matching Espion’s 80 employees and award winning Information Governance consultancy with BSI’s global reach will strengthen the value BSI brings to its 80,000 strong client base.  Espion is a multiple winner of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 since 2006 and a former ICT Company of the Year in Ireland.  It is a market leader in Ireland for information management and security services including information governance, risk and compliance, R&D, eDiscovery and digital forensics, with clients also in the UK and across the rest of Europe.

Howard Kerr, Chief Executive at BSI comments: “Today we unite award winning technical expertise and thought leadership with an established global offering and reputation for business improvement. Confidence in the security and quality of data is a $75 billion market[1] because it is woven into every aspect of business performance. Information Resilience is a crucial element of Organizational Resilience, allowing business leaders to adapt and grow within an increasingly risk-based digital environment.  Espion’s world-class consultancy complements BSI’s wider offer and will help further unlock excellence for our clients worldwide.”

Mark Basham, EMEA Managing Director at BSI, says: “As the business world is increasingly conducted digitally, so too has the issue of Information Resilience risen up the boardroom agenda.  The digital transformation within business has further intensified the complex security issues and threats organizations face to ensure that their corporate information is protected.  This acquisition of Espion expands our information management and security proposition, enabling us to deliver the right solutions – that have a positive impact and help embed excellence – increasing the resilience of the client’s information systems and processes.”

Colman Morrissey, Managing Director at Espion states: “Over the past few years, managing and securing corporate information has become highly complex owing to increased regulations, growth in the volume of data organizations are generating, as well as the evolving and sophisticated information risk environment.  We are very much looking forward to delivering our ambition to develop a global centre of excellence that is at the cutting edge of Information Resilience.  BSI shares our vision to realize this ambition through knowledge acquisition, investment in innovation, adherence to leading industry standards as well as enhancing methodologies.  The global reach, resources and industry standing of BSI add tremendously to what we expect will be a very promising future.”

BSI now operates in 30 countries and already services over 2000 clients across Ireland.  There is an immense global demand for consultancy in the effective management and security of corporate information, and the acquisition of Espion will support BSI’s expansion of its professional services activities in parallel with its existing knowledge and assurance businesses.  The addition of Espion provides an immediate opportunity for BSI to deliver a unique set of Information Resilience services for not only the UK and Europe but also worldwide.

Basham adds: “Espion provides us with immediate growth opportunities in Europe and further strengthens BSI’s commitment to Irish market.  Espion has a proven track record in delivering Information Resilience consultancy services to organizations across a wide range of industries spanning government; healthcare; education; banking and finance; legal and insurance.  The firm has offices and clients in UK, US and across Europe. I’m delighted the Espion leadership team will be joining the BSI team”

Kerr concludes on BSI’s acquisition strategy: “Over the past decade BSI has grown our client base organically, increased our global footprint and expanded our portfolio offering to match today’s business needs.  Information Resilience is one of our core strategic domains – along with Supply Chain and Operational Resilience – and this acquisition reinforces our commitment to our overall approach of encouraging Organizational Resilience across our clients. To ensure we remain a resilient organization – one that is agile, adaptive, robust and competitive – we have even greater ambitions for growth which will include quality acquisitions like Espion.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

[1] Gartner 2015 “Forecast Analysis: Information Security, Worldwide, 2Q15 Update”.

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