Funding for UK cybersecurity startups has surged by 940% since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, with this sector experiencing substantial growth because of the health crisis, according to a new report by recruitment firm Robert Walters.
The research, entitled Cybersecurity – Building Business Resilience, showed that the £496m raised by investors in these companies in the first half of 2020 almost reached the entire figure for 2019 (£521m). These figures were first outlined by LORCA last month.
The new report also highlighted UK government figures showing there has been a 44% rise in companies providing cybersecurity products and services, suggesting that a new business in this area is registered every week on average.
The growth of this sector is largely due to the shift to home working during COVID-19, according to the report, with 48% of UK companies stating they do not have adequate cybersecurity capabilities to enable this safely in the long-term.
As a result, there was a 6% rise in vacancies in cybersecurity roles during the first half of 2020 in the UK. Cybersecurity consultancies were also found to be one of the fastest growing types of startups in the UK, with organizations increasingly looking externally for these services due to the skills shortage in the sector, estimated to be at 140,000 across Europe.
Ajay Hayre, senior consultant technology at Robert Walters, commented: “Historically, IT security has represented only 5% of a company’s IT budget but due to remote working and transition to online or cloud-based solutions, cybersecurity has been thrust to the center of business continuity plans – having proved its worth in enabling business objectives during lockdown.
“Not only will every company see the benefit of having this expertise in-house, but they will be looking externally for tools, services and advisors to help guarantee the future-proofing of their business by way of solid and robust cybersecurity provisions.”