Why Cyber Security is an Opportunity and Not a Threat in Bristol

Bristol Harbour

Bristol-based businessman Brett Edgecombe, Director at 101 Data Solutions, says it’s more important than ever to cultivate a new generation of cyber security talent to protect our digital future, with Bristol being an excellent place for people to start their career in this industry.

The recent DCMS Annual Cyber Sector Report, which assesses how the UK’s cyber security industry has performed, highlighted Bristol’s role. In the report, Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Cyber security firms are major contributors to the UK’s incredible tech success story. Hundreds of British firms from Edinburgh to Bristol are developing and selling cutting-edge cyber tools around the world that make it safer for people to live and work online.”

Brett Edgecombe, Director at 101 Data Solutions, believes that Bristol could be the UK’s cyber capital owing to its highly skilled workforce, top research universities, and thriving software development industry: “While many careers are characterised by fluctuating demand, cyber security and jobs throughout the data protection industry are seeing strong growth. Moreover, it’s expected to have one of the fastest growth rates in the future. That makes it an excellent choice for a career and one I would encourage more people to explore.

“We know Bristol has a thriving startup environment, and we are seeing an increasing focus on cybersecurity. Our city has many security-related startups with lots of cybersecurity experts and entrepreneurs in the city keen to collaborate. Bristol is leading the way in cultivating a new generation of cyber security talent, which is excellent news that Bristol can not only survive but thrive in a time of economic uncertainty.

“In the coming years, I think our city will see a greater focus on cyber security as businesses and governments increasingly rely on data and software to function. Bristol could become a hub for cyber security innovation in the UK with the potential to attract more foreign investment as it offers an excellent ecosystem for cyber security businesses.”

The ever-evolving and diversifying needs of the market are the primary drivers for the growth of this sector. In a scenario where everything is connected to the internet, the need for cybersecurity has increased manifold. The Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices have opened a new frontier for cybersecurity. As more data moves to the cloud, we need cybersecurity professionals to protect this vast trove of private information.

According to the DCMS Annual Cyber Sector Report, the UK’s cyber security industry supplied around £5.3 billion to the economy in 2021, with employment in the sector growing by 13 percent. Cyber security firms also attracted record levels of external investment, with more than £1 billion secured across 84 deals by companies, including Bristol-based Immersive Labs, which raised £53.5 million.