Scottish businesses thrive as UK security tech sector booms

UK tech companies dedicated to making the internet safer have seen their revenues soar over the past year.

With more people logging on during the pandemic than ever before, new research shows the security tech sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK tech industry.

Revenues have risen by more than 40% in the past year – reaching £314million – and there has been a 30% increase in jobs, which equates to over 500 new roles.

According to an independent report commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), more than half (58%) of all security technology jobs in the UK are based outside from London, with a high-performance hub under development in Edinburgh.

Scottish companies include Cyan, which finds and blocks harmful content online; DragonflAI, which has developed technology to prohibit the production of indecent images of minors; and Jess, which provides training to help keep children and vulnerable adults safe online.

The security technology sector in the UK has seen overall growth of 43%, with the number of security technology companies exceeding 100.

Last year, UK government ministers pledged to develop the security technology sector and recently published the draft Online security bill give online businesses a new legal duty of care to protect their users, especially children, from harm.

UK security technology providers are now offering innovative products that can help businesses meet their new obligations under the bill.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “It’s fantastic to see the Scottish security technology industry thriving with the expansion of this Edinburgh hub.

“The UK is a world leader in security technology, and the UK Government’s new Online Safety Bill will further ensure the web is a safer place for people in Scotland and across the country.”

Ian Stevenson, president of the Online Safety Technology Industry Association (OSTIA) and chief executive of Cyan, added: “At a time when the exponential growth of technology is seen as a problem, the UK security technology sector is delivering solutions to limit online damage at pace and encouraging the most talented people to join the sector because they know that their work will effect change, benefit and protect countless people.

The sector saw the launch of OSTIA last year and an innovation network designed to help companies share best practices.

In March this year, the G7 countries announced their commitment to support the growth and innovation of security technologies under the Internet Security Principles.

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