Cybersecurity innovation emerges across the UK amid COVID-19

Cybersecurity innovation emerges across the UK amid COVID-19

Amid the increased number of Covid-related cyber-attacks, the cybersecurity market has become a fast-growing sector in the United Kingdom. Funding for cybersecurity startups has increased by 940% since the lockdown was enforced. London was for long considered the tech capital of the United Kingdom. However, the cybersecurity market has been seeing nationwide growth.

According to a report from the global recruiter Robert Walters and data provider VacancySoft entitled “Cybersecurity building business resilience”, the key drivers of cybersecurity in 2020 are ransomware, phishing, and Artificial Intelligence. Moreover, the report refers to Yorkshire and the North East as the second largest region for cybersecurity talents.

The government Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 states that there are 1221 firms active within the UK providing cybersecurity products and services. However, 5% of the UK’s cyber startups are now based out of London, according to The Yorkshire Post. Yorkshire alone is home to 21 fast-growing cybersecurity companies. In addition, the city makes 18% of the overall cybersecurity hire, states the Robert Walters report.

Aiming to develop regional cybersecurity communities, 24 cybersecurity clusters have been formed across the UK, according to the UK Cybersecurity Forum. In Yorkshire, a cybersecurity cluster was founded in 2015. The Yorkshire Cybersecurity cluster YCSC aims to help organizations to collaborate and build a stronger standard of cybersecurity as part of a knowledge exchange collective.

Yorkshire continues to inspire the younger generation as it connects the cybersecurity industry to academia. In fact, cybersecurity as a graduate path has seen significant growth in the UK and in the Yorkshire region in particular. The University of York, Leeds Beckett, The University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Hallam University all offer courses in cybersecurity, according to the Yorkshire Post.

In the Lancashire area, research into cybersecurity has been made available. Four North West universities including, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester, the University of Salford, and Lancaster University, have teamed up to deliver the European Regional Development Funded (ERDF) scheme named the Greater Manchester AI Foundry. The £6 million project will help a minimum of 170 SMEs in the area to introduce Artificial Intelligence Technology into their businesses, according to Lancaster University website.

On September 21, 2020, Leeds-based tech firm RapidSpike secured £1 million investment from Praetura Ventures. The money will be used to improve and scale its platform and expand its client base, according to Prolific North. The company helps businesses defend themselves against cyberattacks as well as improve cybersecurity. “We’re confident that the investment, along with the value our knowledge and experience add, will help RapidSpike to become one of the world’s leading tech companies specializing in website performance and security at a time when there is huge demand for these services, explained Sim Singh-Landa, Investment Manager at Praetura Ventures.