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UK cyber sector analysis

Total revenues within the sector have increased by 46 per cent since 2017 to an estimated £8.3 billion, according to a UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020. 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.

The study from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) named Darktrace as one of the most successful UK cyber security companies. It’s one of the country’s 77 tech ‘unicorns’; a company valued at over $1 billion. Based in Cambridge it has a US office in San Francisco and 44 offices in all; employing over 1,000. For the 80-page report visit the DCMS website.

Darktrace CEO Poppy Gustafsson said: “The immense growth of the cyber security industry in recent years reflects the magnitude of the cyber challenge confronting organisations of every kind in modern society. 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.”

The report is based on research by Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), with Belfast-based economic and policy advisory practice Perspective Economics and the market researchers Ipsos MORI. CSIT’s Head of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, David Crozier said: “This research clearly shows that support for cyber security 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.”

Ahead of a speech at the London leg of cyber security conference series SINET, yesterday at the British Museum, DCMS 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 £1.9 billion 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.”

The report points to a diversification of the UK cyber sector; and emerging sub-sectors in areas such as the Internet of Things, centralised systems that control and monitor infrastructure or facility-based processes, and post-quantum cryptography. A previous analysis, which used data from 2017, was published in October 2018.


Rob Norris, VP Head of Enterprise and Cyber Security EMEIA, Fujitsu said: “Data is the foundation of any organisation and the findings that the UK’s cyber security industry has seen significant growth is a positive sign that more and more organisations now take their cybersecurity seriously. It’s a fantastic time to be working in the industry, with so many new jobs being created and so many opportunities to innovate, backed up by significant investment. Currently, over a third (35%) of people admit to having security concerns around the sharing of personal data, but we hope this number will go down with time as more cyber security firms help organisations implement the right strategies and tools to stay secure online.

“To meet the ambition of making the UK the safest place to live and work online, organisations must continue to invest in cyber security. Last year was a record year for the industry from an investment perspective, demonstrating how confidence has grown in the sector. But cybersecurity challenges are evolving fast and to stay ahead of cyber threats and continue to build a trusting relationship with the public, organisations need to invest in both people and technology.”


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