UK's cybersecurity sector industry worth £8.3bn - up nearly half since 2017

  • The UK’s cybersecurity industry is now worth an estimated £8.3bn, with total revenues in the sector up 46% since 2017, according to research from Queen’s University, Belfast.

    The UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 is based on research by the University’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).

    Findings from the report show that the number of active cybersecurity firms in the UK has increased 44% - up from 846 in 2017 to over 1,200 at year-end 2019. This is the equivalent to a new cybersecurity business being set up in the UK every week.

    There are now approximately 43,000 full time employees working in the cybersecurity sector, up 37% from 2017.

    On average, revenue per employee reached £193,500 - an increase of 7% since 2017 and 2019 was a record year for the sector with more than £348m of investment.

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    Over the last four years, total investment identified within the sector has exceeded £1.1bn.

    Belfast-based B-Secur, which commercialises the application of patented ECG algorithms for a range of uses, was one firm that secured significant investment during the period. The company, which currently employs 35 staff, has raised $13m to date and has collaborated on a range of research and development projects with CSIT since 2015.

    CSIT’s Head of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, David Crozier said: “This research clearly shows that support for cybersecurity innovation from the government is having a positive impact in accelerating growth, employment and investment in the sector right across the UK. As the UK’s Innovation and Knowledge Centre for cyber security, CSIT has been a key part of that success over the past decade.”

    Crozier added: “The report highlights how government-backed initiatives such as HutZero, Cyber101 and the London Office for Rapid Cyber Security Investment (LORCA) have played a key role in helping UK cybersecurity start-ups and SMEs develop new products and services, as well as improving their ability to raise investment and commercial performance. CSIT is a delivery partner on all three programmes.”

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    Ahead of his speech at international cyber security conference SINET, Digital Minister Matt Warman said: “We are committed to seeing [the sector] 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.”

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

    Perspective Economics Director Sam Donaldson said: "This has been a highly unique and interesting research project for our team. It has been brilliant to track the UK's world-leading cybersecurity sector, and to witness such growth, innovation and potential across the country. We're looking forward to seeing the sector go from strength to strength in the years ahead."

    The UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 is in collaboration with Belfast-based economic and policy advisory practice, Perspective Economics and global market research company, Ipsos MORI. The report was published today by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and can be found here.

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    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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