UK cyber security sector worth £8.3bn with 37% job increase since 2017

London has the majority of security startups, with record-breaking investment in 2019

The UK's cyber security sector is worth an estimated £8.3 billion, with the nation hosting more than 1,200 active security firms thanks to the sector growing by 44% since 2017. 

Figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, revealed that the UK's cyber security industry has surged from 846 companies three-years-ago, with the majority of those are based in London. 

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Confidence in the sector, regardless of the region, is up, with investment exceeding £1.1 billion since 2016. 2019 was also a record-breaking year with cyber security firms receiving £348 million in funding. 

This growth has seen a 37% increase in jobs within the sector since 2017, which now employees 43,000 full-time workers.

The government has cited industry support from both private and public sector as a reason for the rise, along with a wide range of its own programmes and initiatives, such as Cyber ASAP and Tech Nation Cyber, which are both scale-up programs. 

The London Office for Rapid Cyber Security (LORCA) is another government-backed programme and also further evidence of the capital's dominance of this sector

According to the UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020, London has the most cyber security firms, at 431, which is almost double the next best region, the South East which has 275 companies. Third on the list was the South West, which has 89 cyber security startups, backing up a report released in December which suggested areas such as Bristol were burgeoning tech hubs. 

Cambridge-based unicorn Darktrace was singled out by the report as a leading light in UK cyber security and its CEO Poppy Gustafsson said that organisations had no choice but to lean on AI that fights back on their behalf in the face of fast and sophisticated threats. 

"As we start to see the early signs of attackers using AI, defensive AI will be critical, and not just a nice-to-have," said Gustafsson. "The best algorithms will win many battles, but the cyber war will rage on."

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