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A cyber security expert from the University of Plymouth has contributed to a major new report into the strength of the UK’s cyber security sector.

Steve Furnell, Professor of Information Security, was among the key advisers to the UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 produced for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

It reveals the number of active cyber security firms in the UK has increased 44 per cent from 2017 and that the industry is now worth an estimated £8.3 billion.

It also shows there has been significant growth in annual revenue and employment, as well as considerable investment in early-stage companies.

Professor Furnell leads the University’s Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN), and has conducted extensive research into digital security practices among individuals and businesses.

For this report, he worked alongside colleagues from Ipsos MORI, Perspective Economics, and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast, helping to shape the survey sent to 262 cyber security firms based in the UK in May and June 2019.

Professor Steve Furnell said:

It is important to have a clear understanding of the sector, not just in terms of the number of companies and staff working in it, but also to highlight the growth areas and help us recognise the skills that will be needed as we move forward.

Read the full report - UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020
Professor Steve Furnell

The key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • 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. This growth is the equivalent to a new cyber security business being set up in the UK every week;
  • There are now approximately 43,000 full time employees working in the cyber security sector, up 37 per cent from 2017;
  • Total revenues within the sector have increased by 46 per cent to an estimated £8.3 billion. On average, revenue per employee reached £193,500 - an increase of 7 per cent since 2017;
  • 2019 was a record year for the sector with more than £348 million of investment;
  • Over the last four years (2016-19), total investment identified within the cyber security sector has exceeded £1.1 billion, demonstrating how confidence has grown in the industry.

Announcing the report’s findings, Digital Minister Matt Warman MP 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.”

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