Cyber security experts from across the three key regions of the North have joined forces to tackle the lack of investment and development in the regional cyber security landscape.
With a mission to facilitate and level up the divide, three cyber security clusters – the North East’s CyberNorth, North West Cyber Security Cluster and Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster – have come together with national body UKC3 in commissioning the Northern Cyber Clusters Collaboration project, with the aim to better understand cyber security assets and key cyber security players in the Northern regions, and to develop ways for them to work together to increase visibility and to elevate growth and opportunities in the sector.
Cyber security is a necessity across every business and the high-growth sector is on an upward trajectory with annual cyber security revenue in the UK now estimated at a huge £10.1 billion, an increase of 14 per cent in the last year alone.
However, when it comes to the North/South divide the statistics are a cybercrime in themselves. The projects founders cite statistics which show annual cyber security investment in the southern regions accumulated to £982.4m. By contrast, the North received just £8m of investment.
There are approximately 1,800 firms within the UK providing cyber security products and services, and 52,700 people employed full-time in cyber security related roles. Unfortunately, the statistics suggest that the sector is not growing at the same rate across the country, with the North severely underrepresented.
In terms of employment, the project’s figures suggest that the Southern regions of South West, London and South East have an estimated 53 per cent of UK-wide cyber security employment, while the Northern regions have just 16 per cent. Average advertised salaries for cyber security roles in the Southern regions are also £11,500 higher than in the Northern regions (£62,500 versus £51,000).
Through the collaboration, the clusters are seeking to understand what can be done to create strong ties, develop relationships and nurture collaboration that will see individuals, organisations, communities, sectors and the economy throughout the North of England benefit. Through a digital survey and a series of events in Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Durham, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Scarborough, Leeds, Sheffield and York, the team will gather insight in a move to facilitate a stronger force on the ground in the North.
Phil Jackman, director, CyberNorth said: “We are delighted to join forces with our Northern cluster counterparts to work more closely and to implement a focussed and proactive approach to collaboration. The statistics speak for themselves, and it is of paramount importance that we take action to level up the cyber security sectors across the three regions.”
The Northern Cyber Clusters’ Collaboration project aims to gather key contributions from cyber security organisations, communities and professionals to find out what they want out of the cluster collaboration across the North of England, and how they see the clusters progressing in the future.
As a first step, interested parties are invited to complete the Northern Cyber Clusters Collaboration online survey, hosted in partnership with UKC3.