Cybercrime’s silver lining: “massive” growth expected for UK security firms

The UK is in prime position to exploit the growing security market, according to Chloe Smith, a minister in the Cabinet Office.

Cybercrime's silver lining:

“We are determined to help business seize these opportunities in cybersecurity, promoting the UK’s cybersecurity industry both domestically and across the globe,” said Smith in her keynote address at InfoSecurity Europe 2013.

She claimed there are over 2,300 UK companies already active in the “cybersecurity space”, representing over 26,000 UK jobs. Smith claimed this amounts to £3.8 billion turnover with exports of over £800 million.

“Undeniably there is massive growth potential for UK businesses and innovators to do very well and to continue doing very well in the cybersecurity sector,” she added. “It is clear that this is a growth sector and one we should encourage and nurture.”

Smith outlined a number of tactics the government is employing to do this, including grants of up to £5,000 for SMEs to boost their security, a resource for GCSE students – available this autumn – to increase their cybersecurity knowledge, and funding to support research in 11 universities.

“Also recently GCHQ and the other intelligence agencies launched a new technical apprenticeship scheme which aims to identify and develop talent in school and university age sutdents,” said Smith. “They aim to recruit up to 100 apprentices who will be enrolled on a tailored two-year foundation degree course.”

She admitted “all of this will take some time to filter through”, but insisted “we’re putting in place the right processes now to increase the number of skilled people needed to help protect UK business.”

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