A recent government report has showcased the record levels of investment in 2020 in the UK cybersecurity sector as a direct result of the global pandemic and the requirement of home-based online working.
It was calculated that more than £800 million was invested into the sector with an increase in the number of UK cybersecurity firms by 21 per cent on the year prior, encompassing almost 50,000 employees in the sector as of 2021.
Delving into the DCMS Annual Cyber Sector Report which tracks the industry across multiple indicators between the period of April 2019 and December 2020, the 21 per cent increase in operating firms in the cybersecurity sector brings the total number to 1,483.
The total number of employed individuals in the sector saw a 9 per cent rise from 3,800 full-time jobs created in the period, rising it to 46,683 overall. This activity has pushed the sector worth to a record £8.9 billion.
At a recent CyberASAP virtual event, Digital Minister Matt Warman underscored the greater need for cutting edge cybersecurity during the growth. With the sector seeing resilience over this period as a fresh gem in the UK tech crown, vital work is undertaken by large and small firms to keep operations and people secure working online and building safely towards post-pandemic working conditions.
In other main findings from the report, the sector had contributed over £4 bn into the economy with mature firms driving the main growth, providing a 6 per cent growth on the previous year. The majority of new employees into the sector workforce are said to be employed by large firms over smaller ones.
Half of the firms are now documented as being outside of London and the South East, with flourishings across the country in the North West and Scotland.
The main products that are commonly provided during this period are cyber professional services, threat intelligence, monitoring, detection and analysis. Firms offering solutions on industrial control systems and IoT security have seen the most growth highlighting the sector’s adaptation abilities and taking up emerging challenge solutions such as securing smart cities.
Whilst 9 in 10 companies felt that Covid-19 impacted their business, many had taken the steps to adjust and innovate in the face of the economic climate. Whilst cybersecurity firms continue to grow in spite of the pandemic, the government now recognises the importance of small to medium-sized scale-ups in accessing support to continue growth.