UK cyber firms cement place as ‘jewel in tech crown’

data_31The UK’s cyber industry is not only fighting surging online threats, it has also seen off the worst excesses of Covid-19, attracting record investment in the past 12 months, according to a new Government report.

With the pandemic forcing more business and social activity online, new figures reveal an increase in the number of cyber security companies and people working for them. And, even though most were hit by Covid, they have adjusted their operations and are now back to business as usual.

The DCMS Annual Cyber Sector Report, which tracks the UK’s cyber security industry across a range of indicators between April 2019 and December 2020, reveals a 21% increase in firms operating in the field, bringing the total number to 1,483.

There was also a 9% rise in employment in the industry, with more than 3,800 new full-time jobs created, bringing the total number of people working in the sector to 46,683.

The sector is now worth an estimated £8.9bn, with a record £800m of investment raised by firms.

This year’s survey also suggests that more than half of firms (54%) are now based outside of London and the South East, with cyber security clusters flourishing across the country in areas such as Scotland, Northern Ireland and North West England.

The most commonly provided cyber security products and services include cyber professional services, threat intelligence, monitoring, detection and analysis. The research highlights particular growth in firms offering solutions for industrial control systems and IoT security, demonstrating the sector’s ability to adapt and meet emerging challenges, such as the need to secure smart cities.

The data reveals that while nine in ten companies (89%) felt Covid-19 had affected their business, many of these firms have quickly adjusted and innovated within the current economic climate.

And, despite some firms in the sector feeling the pressure, many have still found the capacity to offer vital technical support to the NHS, and other critical national services, sometimes on a pro-bono basis.

Digital Minister Matt Warman said: “The need for cutting-edge cyber security has never been greater and this resilient sector is growing, diversifying and solidifying its status as a jewel in the UK’s tech crown.

“With more than 3,800 new jobs created, firms – large and small – are doing vital work keeping people and businesses secure online so we can build back safer from the pandemic. I am committed to supporting the industry to reach new heights, create more jobs and lead new innovations in this field.”

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