Cyber security represents an opportunity, as well as a threat, for UK plc. says Chloe Smith, minister for political and constitutional reform at the Cabinet Office. The minister was speaking at the Infosecurity Europe conference in London on Wednesday, she pointed to Britain’s history of innovation in cryptography and strength in on-line commerce: “Undeniably,” she said, “there is massive growth potential for UK businesses and innovators to do very well in the cyber security sector."
There are currently around 2,380 UK companies in the cyber security sector, with collective sales estimated at £3.8bn and revenues from exports of £800m. According to Ms Smith, "cyber security global growth is forecast over the next four years to be over twice that of the security sector as a whole.”
To promote the security sector, the UK's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has joined up with IT trade group Intellect to launch the Cyber Growth Partnership as a way of promoting further growth in the UK's higher technology sector, and in particular helping start-ups and SMEs.
Although Government is major target - 33,000 malicious emails are blocked every month - industry is by far the biggest victim of cyber threat, according to Ms Smith. To help SMEs, the UK government is launching security guidance and a voucher scheme for small businesses through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). The voucher provides companies with a grant to work with outside consultants. The cyber security element of this scheme will fund 100 companies with Innovation Vouchers of up to £5,000 each, enabling them to engage with UK security solution providers to develop bespoke and innovative solutions to emerging security problems.
For more information on the TSB's Innovation vouchers, click here.
To read more about the emerging opportunities for cyber security companies, take a look at The Register's report: UK faces hacking doom, but think of the money, security startups!