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Call for England's Cyber Security Sector to Influence the Future of the Booming Industry

12:00 Friday, 11 March 2022

Lisa Ventura

DCMS and UK Cyber Security Council Discuss Role “Vital Industry” Can Play Across England as Sector Becomes Intrinsically Important to our Digital Lives

The UK Cyber Security Council has revealed the significant role the cyber security sector will play by creating jobs and protecting businesses across England, as the industry’s importance grows in line with our increasingly connected and digital lives.

With a joint ambition to ensure the UK becomes the safest place to live and work online, two high profile events held between the UK Cyber Security Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) will address the opportunities cyber security could create across the country.

From millions of digitally connected and wireless devices in homes, to critical infrastructure operations across energy, transport and manufacturing industries; digital technologies undoubtedly improve efficiencies, but have also created increased risks for cyber-attacks, data breaches and hacking.

Although these risks have increased in recent years, so too have opportunities for jobs in the sector - in bolstering the nation’s defences against malicious cyber-attacks.

According to a recent DCMS report, the rapidly expanding sector employs 52,700 individuals and contributes around £5.3 billion GVA to the UK economy, a 33% increase on the previous year.

Comparatively, that’s roughly half the size of the GVA added by the UK’s agricultural industry.

A breakdown of the cyber sector across England’s regions:

Region

Number of total active offices

Estimated % of UK-based cyber security employment

Average Advertised Salaries (2021) in core cyber security roles

East Midlands

149

3%

£47,000

East of England

243

6%

£52,200

London

1,095

29%

£69,700

North East

117

2%

£46,500

North West

339

9%

£54,600

South East

676

16%

£59,700

South West

303

8%

£58,000

West Midlands

196

7%

£55,900

Yorkshire & The Humber

172

5%

£51,800

The number of active businesses specialising in the cyber security sector across England sits at 3,288, employing an estimated 85% of the UK’s cyber security workforce.

With a focus on England’s cyber clusters, two upcoming events will discuss the need for both England and the UK to establish and embed industry-wide standards, ethics and pathways for those working in the cyber profession by 2025, if it is to become the safest place to live and do work online.

The events will call on the industry’s practitioners to participate in helping to shape the Council’s future strategy and engage with the government’s consultation on the sector, which closes on 20th March.

The events will discuss:

  • The skills gap in the industry, with an annual shortfall of 10,000 practitioners in the UK
  • How half of businesses in the UK have a skills gap in cyber security
  • That there is also need for more diversification within the sector – only 16 percent are women and 17 percent are from ethnic minorities

The UK Cyber Security Council’s CEO, Simon Hepburn, said: “With record levels of investment last year, the UK’s £10 billion cyber security sector has the potential to create thousands of highly skilled and rewarding careers for people across England.

“The two events were designed to provide individuals and organisations working within the region’s cyber security cluster and business leaders with an opportunity to directly shape and influence the future of the profession.

“With the deadline looming, we encourage those working in the sector to engage with DCMS’ ongoing consultation, as the government seeks to address new measures to boost British businesses’ cyber security after recent high-profile attacks.

“The consultation asks for views on how best to ensure the UK Cyber Security Council is suitably empowered to be the voice of the profession, and to tackle the scale and diversity of the skills shortage which the government and industry seeks to address.”

As the voice of the UK’s cyber security profession, the role of the Council is to champion the cyber security sector and its practitioners across the UK, providing broad representation for the industry, accelerating awareness and promoting excellence in the profession.

Simon continued: “Our other event provided the region’s practitioners with an opportunity to feed into and advise on the professional and ethical standards that cyber security professionals will follow throughout their career journeys.

“The Council is encouraging those who already work in, or are interested in a career in, cyber security to engage in future forums. They will help us to co-design with the industry, developing and aligning both standards and career paths for a vital sector, which will increasingly impact all our lives in the years to come.”

To attend the consultation presentation roadshow – 15th March - please visit: https://www.ukcybersecuritycouncil.org.uk/events/england-dcms-consultation-presentation-roadshow/

To attend the UK Cyber Security Council’s roadshow on cyber pathways and standards – 18th March – please visit: https://www.ukcybersecuritycouncil.org.uk/events/england-council-cyber-pathways-and-standards-presentation-roadshow/