With uncertainty around Brexit remaining high, Government believes it has identified a key export opportunity on cyber security.
Such positive visions for different industries are in short supply. In addition to a ‘tech exodus to Berlin’ and a science ‘brain drain’, post-Brexit economic fears include a total wipe-out of the UK’s farming business and increasing uncertainty around the UK’s car industry.
However, for the digital economy in general, and cyber security in particular the Government believes Britain can lead the international pack to improve the nation’s trade balance. On 26th March 2018 it published its Cyber Export Strategy and received a warm reception from the cyber security sector and the UK’s tech industry in general. This follows the announcement on the 2nd March by the Prime Minister that she wants the UK sector to be outside of the Digital Single Market once the terms of Brexit are agreed, saying it was important that the UK had “domestic flexibility, to ensure the regulatory environment can always respond nimbly and ambitiously to new developments.”
With exports from the cyber security sector expected to reach £2.6 billion by 2021, the strategy will support a burgeoning space in UK industry.
Specifically, the government’s Cyber Export Strategy will support companies bidding for contracts with overseas governments and critical national infrastructure providers, not only offering the UK’s 800 cyber security businesses a piece of the global pie, but helping to reinforce the UK’s cyber offering on the world stage.
In the strategy, the government has set out three commitments to UK cyber security companies:
- Act as a trusted advisor for UK companies bidding for major opportunities with overseas governments and CNI providers.
- Run trade missions and pitch UK companies to top buyers around the world.
- Develop and deploy the best of UK cyber security updated branding and marketing around the world, as well as create additional cyber security content for gov.uk.
Already, pioneering UK SMEs such as cyber security company Titania are delivering cyber solutions to the rest of the world, with clients including the United States Navy, United States Air Force and Deutsche Telekom.
Likewise, UK data protection company Clearswift was recently acquired by Swiss technology giant RUAG as it looked to expand its cyber security business, highlighting the demand for the UK’s cyber expertise from major international organisations.
With Brexit putting many UK industries international trading in a position of uncertainty, the future of the UK’s cyber security sector (and the digital sector generally) can be considered one of the more hopeful areas for the economy. What’s more, as digital transformation and industry 4.0 gains momentum in businesses and across different sectors, cyber security will become a critical aspect of everyday operations. With the government’s support, the UK’s cyber security sector is in a prime position to take advantage of the rapidly growing global adoption of digital technologies and become a leading player around the world.
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