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Government wants more contracts for cyber security SMEs

31/01/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

A UK Government minister has said it wants to give small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in cyber security more scope to bid for public sector contracts.

Figure pressing digital lock on screen

Minister for Digital Matt Warman made the statement as part of a speech at the SINET Global Cyber Security Innovation Summit, along with highlighting the publication of the new UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis Report.

He told the summit: “We will continue our journey to improve how government buys cyber security products and services - through initiatives such as the not terribly snappily named Cyber Security Services Dynamic Purchasing System - never was there a less dynamic name.

“This aims to give the SME market increased opportunities to bid for government cyber security contracts.”

Warman acknowledged there is a skills shortage in the sector, with the report showing that three in five cyber security businesses struggling to find the people they need, and said the UK needs to develop the right blend of skills.

He said the CyberFirst and CyberDiscovery programmes – aimed at encouraging young people into the industry – are providing the ground for more professionals in the future.

Education change

“I want to effect longer term change to statutory education to ensure citizens have the digital/cyber skills and opportunities necessary to participate in the economy, right from the very beginning,” he added.

“In the immediate term, the Government will continue to develop extra-curricular cyber security inspiration and learning opportunities.”

Warmnan highlighted figures from the report indicating a growth in the UK cyber security industry: between 2017-19 there was a 44% increase in the number of firms to total over 1,200, and the number of employees rose by a third to 43,000.

In addition, the sector’s gross added value increased by 60% over the two years to hit £3.7 billion.

Image from iStock

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