The UK’s cyber security industry is now worth an estimated £8.3 billion, with total revenues in the sector up 46 percent from £5.7 billion in 2017 according to a new report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Highlights from the UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 include:
44 percent increase in the number of active cyber-security firms in the UK - up from 846 in 2017 to more than 1,200 at year-end 2019, equivalent to a new cyber security business being set up in the UK every week.
37 percent increase since 2017 in full time employees working in the cyber-security sector, to reach 43,000.
46 percent increase in total revenues to an estimated £8.3 billion. Average revenue per employee up seven percent since 2017 to £193,500.
2019 was a record year for the sector with more than £348 million of investment.
Over the last four years (2016-19), total investment within the cyber-security sector has exceeded £1.1 billion.
Ahead of his speech at today’s international cyber-security conference SINET, digital minister Matt Warman said: “It’s great to see our cyber-security sector going from strength to strength. It plays a vital role in protecting the country’s thriving digital economy and keeping people safe online.
“We are committed to seeing it grow and are investing £1.9bn over five years through our National Cyber Security Strategy to make sure we lead the way in cyber-innovation, develop and attract the best talent.”
Government initiatives to boost growth in the cyber-security sector include Cyber ASAP which supports academics to commercialise their research, Tech Nation Cyber which is the UK’s first cyber scale-up programme which supports companies poised for substantial growth at home and abroad, and its Cyber101 programme which delivers bootcamps around the country to help cyber SMEs develop essential business skills.
Clare Gardiner, director national resilience & strategy at the NCSC said: "Our ambition is to make the UK the safest place to live and work online and it’s fantastic to see our cyber security industry flourishing. The NCSC will continue to support, encourage and facilitate cyber security research and innovation, and help attract the most diverse minds."
The report names Darktrace one of the UK’s most successful cyber-security companies, one of the country’s 77 tech ‘unicorns’ - (ie valued at over US$1 billion) employing more than 1,000 people at 44 offices around the world. Poppy Gustafsson, CEO Darktrace commented: “Organisations have had no choice but to lean on AI that fights back on their behalf in the face of fast and sophisticated threats, and it is this appetite for what we call ‘autonomous response’ technology that has driven Darktrace’s exponential growth. As we start to see the early signs of attackers using AI, defensive AI will be critical, and not just a nice-to-have. The best algorithms will win many battles, but the cyber-war will rage on.”
Mike Jackson, entrepreneur success director at Tech Nation adds: “These latest figures released by DCMS highlight the growing strength of Cyber Security to the UK tech sector. It’s promising to see the number of cyber security firms increasing by 44 percent and the positive contribution this makes to the UK economy.”