The recent remote working boom is thought to be behind huge investment in cyber security, as government and businesses alike look to boost digital resilience.
Some £821 million has been invested in the cyber security industry since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It said the industry now supports 46,683 jobs in the UK alone – an increase of 9%, or in real world terms, some 3,800 new recruits.
The number of cyber security firms also increased, to 1,483. In total, these companies generated £8.9 billion in sales and contributed £4 billion to the UK economy (an increase of 7% and 6% respectively over the pandemic period). This growth has also benefitted the NHS, which has been offered technical assistance from many of these companies, often at no cost.
In light of the added demands being put on the NHS, as well as to help defend it against unscrupulous cyber criminals, businesses across the UK have been helping their local NHS organisations with incidence response to strengthen their cyber defences.
Growth in the cyber security sector hasn’t been confined to London and the South East. In fact, the DCMS report stated that over half (54%) of these companies are now based outside the capital and its surrounds – something that will only help in further developing cyber resilience across the whole country.
Specifically, professional services, threat intelligence, monitoring, detection and analysis saw the most growth, with industrial control systems (ICS) and internet of things (IoT) security also showing positive results.
These increases are also expected to continue for some time yet, thanks to a recently announced £1.25 billion support package, which aims to support small and medium-sized firms that may have missed out on a previous funding round.
Julian David, CEO of TechUK – the UK’s technology trade association – told Computer Weekly: “Reliable cyber security is essential for all organisations as they accelerate digital transformation in the wake of ongoing Covid-19 disruption and the UK industry is responding to that need. “This research shows a sector going from strength to strength, with increasing investment in our growing cyber ecosystem and, perhaps most significantly, uptake of the technologies and services keeping UK citizens and businesses safe.”