UK's cybersecurity firms hit over $12 billion in 2020 revenue

Edward G. | February 23, 2021

Cybersecurity has never been more important, as the pandemic forced many people to shift towards remote work. Also, most entertainment venues are closed, so people use the web to fill up their free time. This situation is a great opportunity, and cybersecurity companies did not miss the chance to capitalize on it.

Atlas VPN research team found that in the 2020 financial year, online security companies in the UK raked in nearly 8.88 billion GBP which is equivalent to 12.51 billion US dollars, a 7% increase from last year's 8.3 billion GBP (11.69 billion USD). 

The figures are provided by Ipsos MORI, a market research company, in collaboration with Perspective Economics, a firm of economic advisors. They used cybersecurity company information in the UK from the most recent financial year of accounts (analysis undertaken in late 2020).

Data reveals that nearly three-quarters (74%) of the online security earnings go to large firms, amounting to almost 6.6 billion GBP or 9.3 billion USD in 2020. Large enterprises are those with 250 or more employees. 

In contrast, medium-sized enterprises pocketed 1.56 billion GBP (2.2 billion USD) within the 2020 financial year. These firms earned 1.26 billion GBP (1.78 billion USD) in 2019, which means that medium-sized companies’ revenue increased by 24%. Medium-sized firms employ between 50 and 249 workers.

Moving forward, small companies made 527 million GBP (742.09 million USD) during the last financial year. Small companies have from 10 to 49 employees.

Finally, start-ups raked in 217 million GBP (304.16 million USD) within the financial year 2020. In 2019, micro-companies earned 109 million GBP (153.49 million USD). This difference represents a 99% surge in revenue for UK’s cybersecurity start-ups. Start-ups are micro-companies with 1 to 9 workers.  

To conclude, it is clear that large companies receive the biggest part of the revenue in the cybersecurity industry. However, start-ups are starting to take off, most likely due to the new opportunities created by the increased digitalization of our every-day lives.

Cybersecurity businesses by size

In 2020 1,483 companies provided cybersecurity products and services. Compared to last year's 1,221 businesses, this is a 21% growth. 

Looking at the broader perspective, the number of digital security companies jumped by 85% from 846 firms in 2017 to 1,483 in 2020.  Let’s delve deeper into the size of registered cybersecurity firms in the UK within the most recent financial year.

In 2020, there were 144 companies with 250 or more employees, representing 10% of the grand total number of businesses.

Next, there are 172 officially registered medium-sized firms in the United Kingdom. Companies with 50 to 249 employees comprise 12% of the total number of online security businesses. 

Furthermore, as many as 327 small businesses operate in the UK within the financial year of 2020, a 22% of the total. Finally, most cybersecurity companies are start-ups with less than 10 employees. There are 840 such firms in the UK, representing 57% of the total number of security businesses.

Clearly, most companies that provide internet security services and products in the United Kingdom are small to micro-sized.

There has never been a better time for innovation in the digital protection sector since the demand for such services and products has sky-rocketed mainly because of the remote working and imposed lockdowns to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Subsequently, Atlas VPN projects that cybersecurity firm earnings in the United Kingdom in the year 2021 will surge past the 10 billion GBP (14.08 billion USD) mark without much trouble, as the digital threats online are projected to thrive amid home working and improving hacking strategies. Therefore, cybersecurity firms will potentially sign a significant amount of new contracts as companies will shift to seek proper digital security solutions for their businesses.

John C.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.

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