BSI acquires Espion to boost global information security expertise

4 April 2016

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”.

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”.


Joint Logo of BSI and Espion


About BSI

BSI (British Standards Institution) is the business standards company that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, manage risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated. Renowned for its marks of excellence including the consumer recognized BSI Kitemark, BSI’s influence spans multiple domains including Aerospace, Automotive, Built Environment, Food, Healthcare and IT. With 80,000 clients in 182 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.  To learn more, please visit

About Espion

Managing and securing business information.

Espion is an award winning specialist in managing and securing corporate information. We provide expertise to our clients on Identification, Protection, Compliance and Management of their Information.

We help clients across all industry sectors and business functions through: a combination of Consultancy, Technology, Research and Training. We provide these innovative solutions so that our clients feel protected, assured and empowered, confident in the knowledge that their challenges have been met.

We are unrivalled experts in managing the complexities of corporate information, giving your people maximum access to and control of your company’s information.

We’re experts in Information Governance, working with you to identify and manage risk and to ensure your data is secure and compliant.

We’re leaders in the areas of eDiscovery & Digital Forensics, providing comprehensive litigation support services to legal advisers in the most complex cases.

We’re specialists in Cloud Assurance, we assess, mitigate and manage the risks of cloud-based services ensuring your key information is secure in any cloud deployment.

We provide specialist Managed Security Solutions that maximise resources and budget while ensuring that information remains secure and compliant.

We invest heavily in Research and Development across all aspects of Information security, information management and eDiscovery, enabling us to be creative, innovative and thought leaders to the very latest breakthroughs and threats.

We provide tailored Training, imparting the knowledge, skills and certification needed to empower your staff to manage and secure information.

• We are certified in ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and NSAI Excellence Through People

• We are a Payment Card Industry QSA and have Certified ISO 27001 Auditors

• We are the first Irish Company to Accomplish Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) Membership

• We are FP-7 Researchers

• We’re in six locations internationally and we are growing

• We have trained and helped certify more than 5000 security professionals

• We are working with many of the biggest organizations in Europe

Headquartered in Dublin, and operating in Ireland, the UK, continental Europe and the US, Espion currently employs 85 people. 

Enabling Espion to deliver solutions is its strong knowledge-focus and adherence to internationally recognised industry leading standards (ISO 9001, ISO 27001) and best practices. Our highly qualified consultants have more than 35 different qualifications.