Stroll around the picturesque spa town of Malvern and you are likely to bump into a technology entrepreneur trying to find ways to make the internet a safer place.

“Walking in the hills, going to school — everybody you meet seems to work in cyber-security,” said Emma Philpott, chief executive of Iasme Consortium, which issues government-approved accreditation for businesses that pass data security standards.

The perfect spot for hiking or sourcing natural spring water, the Worcestershire town might seem an unlikely hub for the fight against cyber-hackers. Yet it has become a significant part of one of Britain’s most strategically important sectors.

Protecting businesses against online attacks is vital to national security and the economy. A report by the department for digital, culture, media &