Government study reveals cyber sector kept growing through 2020
Revenue spiked 7% to £8.9bn, DCMS study reveals
Last year was a record year for the UK’s cybersecurity sector, analysis by the government has found.
The Annual Cyber Sector Report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport found a 21% increase during 2020 in the number of companies in the cyber sector, bringing the total number to 1,483.
There was a 9% rise in employment in the industry, with more than 3,800 new full-time jobs created, bringing the number of people working in the field to 46,683.
The UK cybersecurity sector generated sales of £8.9bn in 2020, an increase of 7% in the last year. And 2020 was also a record year for investment, with £821m raised by firms.
The survey suggests that more than half of firms (54%) are now based outside London and the south east of England, with cybersecurity clusters flourishing in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north west of England.
The most commonly provided cybersecurity products and services include cyber professional services, threat intelligence, monitoring, and detection and analysis. The research highlights particular growth in firms offering solutions for industrial control systems and Internet of Things security.
Digital minister Matt Warman said: “The need for cutting-edge cybersecurity 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.”
The data reveals that while nine in ten companies felt Covid-19 had impacted their business, many of these firms had quickly adjusted and innovated. Some had found the capacity to offer technical support to the NHS and other critical national services, sometimes on a pro-bono basis.
Edinburgh firm Quorum Cyber helped strengthen the cyber defences of the NHS and local councils during the pandemic and created a number of skilled jobs.
Meanwhile SureCert, which has offices in London, Edinburgh and Belfast, helped ensure the rapid deployment of hundreds of volunteers through its background check service.
Ian Savage, founder of SureCert, said: “SureCert won one of the TechForce 19 competitions from NHSx in May. This competition provided funding for solutions that could find, background check and deploy hundreds of volunteers to support vulnerable people in communities across Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
Federico Charosky, managing director of Quorum Cyber, said: “Quorum Cyber have been incredibly lucky to be in a position to help, both directly and indirectly, whether it was through providing cyber security services to the public and private sector, including delivering security operation centre and incident response capabilities to local authorities and the NHS, or by hiring well over 25 people since the beginning of lockdown, including taking three graduate apprentices.”
Digital and data once again had a starring role in supporting – and, occasionally, hampering – government’s work this year. PublicTechnology looks back at the most significant events.
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