UK government study shows increase in cyber security employment

The UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 found a 37% rise in employment within the sector over the past two years.

43,000 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) are expected to be currently working in cyber security.

The report also found that 2019 was a record year for cyber security in regards to investment; £348 million was raised over 80 deals.

Investment rose from £295 million from last year, while the amount of deals fell from 110.

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Greater London saw the most investment and the most deals since 2017, with £574 million, more than half the national total, raised from 155 agreements.

Coming in second place for fundraising was East Anglia with £139 million, followed by the South East with £78 million.

In regards to the amount of deals made by region, the South East came in behind London with 36, with third place being the North West with 17.

Planning for growth

The government launched its National Cyber Security Strategy in 2016, which is planned to last until 2021.

Since then, a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been opened, two innovation centres in London and Cheltenham have been launched to help new products get off the ground.

“Much has been achieved through the National Cyber Security Strategy, and the strength and dedication of our commercial sector clearly underpins the UK’s efforts to be one of the safest places to live and work,” said digital minister Matt Warman. “Government will continue with its efforts to support the UK’s world-leading cyber security sector to remain internationally competitive, to develop innovative and ground-breaking new products and services, to expand and access new markets, and to secure the best talent available to ensure sustainable growth.”

Lack of specific industry awareness

While he regards the increase in cyber security employment found by the governmental report as “a vital boost for the seemingly impossible task of plugging the current 4 million shortfall in cybersec professionals”, Red Sift CEO Rahul Powar says that research should delve deeper into movement between specific industries.

“There is a clear lack of information on churn and inter-industry movement,” he said. “While the industry as a whole is basking in the £8.3 billion valuation, we need to consider the impact of key individuals leaving an employer and taking irreplaceable knowledge with them.

“As opportunities for movement increase within the sector, we need to utilise automated technology solutions to both retain the skills of our existing workforce and support the recruitment of new talent.”

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The UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 surveyed 262 cyber security firms across the country from the 1st May 2019 to the 25th June 2019.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.