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UK’s booming cyber security sector worth £8.3 billion

Thursday January 30th, 2020

New report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport reveals the number of active cyber security firms in the UK has increased 44 per cent from 2017Government Opportunities

The UK’s cyber security industry is now worth an estimated £8.3 billion, with total revenues in the sector up 46 per cent from £5.7 billion in 2017.

The sector has seen significant growth in annual revenue and employment, as well as considerable investment in early-stage companies. The findings from the report show:

The number of active cyber security firms in the UK has increased 44 per cent – up from 846 in 2017 to over 1,200 at year-end 2019. This growth is the equivalent to a new cyber security business being set up in the UK every week

There are now approximately 43,000 full time employees working in the cyber security sector, up 37 per cent from 2017

Total revenues within the sector have increased by 46 per cent to an estimated £8.3 billion. On average, revenue per employee reached £193,500 – an increase of 7 per cent since 2017

2019 was a record year for the sector with more than £348 million of investment

Over the last four years (2016-19), total investment identified within the cyber security sector has exceeded £1.1 billion, demonstrating how confidence has grown in the industry.

The UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 named Darktrace as one of the most successful UK cyber security companies, which is one of the country’s 77 tech ‘unicorns’ – a company valued at over $1 billion. Darktrace has its global head office in Cambridge as well as a US base in San Francisco and 44 offices around the world employing over 1,000 people.

Alongside GDPR industry adoption, this growth has been driven by a number of factors such as the UK’s world-leading technology sector, pro-innovation regulation, research and business-friendly environment.

Industry support from the private and public sectors has also played a key role in this success. The Government is delivering a range of initiatives to boost growth in the cyber security sector. These include Cyber ASAP which supports academics to commercialise their research, Tech Nation Cyber which is the UK’s first cyber scale-up programme and supports companies poised for substantial growth at home and abroad, and our Cyber101 programme which delivers bootcamps around the country to help cyber SMEs develop essential business skills.

The report also highlights the growing diversification of the UK cyber sector with the growth of emerging security sub-sectors focusing on areas such as the Internet of Things, centralised systems that control and monitor infrastructure or facility-based processes, and post-quantum cryptography.

Tech Nation Entrepreneur Success Director Mike Jackson said: > 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% and the positive contribution this makes to the UK economy. At Tech Nation, we have the privilege of working with some of the UK’s most promising Cyber Security scaleups, who are utilising bleeding-edge technologies to offer new ways of improving security, and protecting businesses and individuals online.

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