In the 2020 Update of its Australia’s Cyber Security Competitiveness Plan (SCP) the industry-led not for profit responsible for the Cyber Security Growth Centre, AustCyber, says that cyber security continues to be one of the most rapidly expanding sectors worldwide, with global spending on cyber security products and services increasing by 30% from 2017 to 2020.
Austcyber says that while the pandemic is having an economic impact on Australia’s cyber security providers, it has accelerated digitisation trends and driven unprecedented domestic demand for cyber security.
“Trust in digital infrastructures and the data they carry is the mainstay of recovery from the pandemic – but also the means to drive productivity and effective diversification of the economy’s base.”
According to Austcyber over the next decade, the Australian cyber security sector will become “larger, more diverse and more sophisticated.”
“There are now approximately 350 sovereign providers in the sector, supported by 26,500 workers employed in full time cyber security roles, Austcyber says in its report.
“A closer look at the sector reveals it is characterised by new, innovative small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs), with 88 per cent of providers having fewer than 100 employees.
“A clear view of the maturity and size of Australia’s cyber security sector is essential for strategic growth,” says CEO of AustCyber, Michelle Price.
“Good policy and future investments are contingent upon policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors having a strong picture of the sector on which to make informed decisions.
“The measurement of fundamental economic metrics such as the size of the sector and its value added to the economy can serve as a foundation to more sophisticated analysis, such as the broader impacts of cyber innovation across the economy, including its role as an enabler of growth and its contribution to overall prosperity.”
AustCyber says that for the first time, the gross value added (GVA) of Australia’s cyber security sector can be estimated, at $2.3 billion, with the cyber security sector’s GVA already comparable to other digital sectors such as computer software ($4.2 billion) and retail e-commerce ($3.2 billion).
“While GVA estimates the direct contribution of cyber security to the economy, it does not account for its role in enabling economic activity in other sectors, of which it plays a critical role,” said Price.
AustCyber lists key statistics from the its cybersecurity update as:
- At least US$147 billion was spent on direct cyber security products and services globally in the last year
- The gross value added of Australia’s cyber security sector is approximately A$2.3 billion
- 43% of cyber security businesses are exporting globally
- 26,500 workers are employed in cyber security in Australia
- There are now at least 350 sovereign cyber security providers in Australia
- Australians spent approximately A$5.6 billion on cyber security from local and international providers in the last year
- Australian cyber security providers generated A$3.6 billion in revenue – A$3 billion from the domestic market and A$600 million from international markets
- Most of the businesses in Australia’s cyber security sector are young – 40% are under five years old and 66% are less than ten years old
- Collaboration in the sector is very high – 33–44% of startups partner on product and service delivery solutions