The Cyber security breaches survey 2023 revealed around a third of UK businesses (32%) and a quarter of charities (24%) report having experienced any kind of cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. This accounts for approximately 462,000 businesses and 48,000 registered charities. The most common by far is phishing – defined in the context of this survey as staff receiving fraudulent emails or being directed to fraudulent websites.

Wales has a flourishing tech ecosystem– according to government figures the nation’s tech sector is worth an estimated £8.5bn to the Welsh economy and it continues to grow. Almost 45,000 people are actively employed within the Digital Economy in Wales, this only underpins the vital role of cybersecurity in protecting this thriving digital ecosystem.

Thankfully, Wales is not standing idly by in the face of these challenges and is leading some of the most interesting and innovative work on cyber. Wales boasts a robust ecosystem founded on the triple helix of strategic investments and support from Government, businesses and educational institutions dedicated to cybersecurity. This provides a firm foundation for Cyber Security companies to grow and the Tech sector thrive securely in an era of Digital Transformation.

Government Cyber Action Plan: The Welsh Government Cyber Action Plan sets out a vision for Wales to prosper through cyber resilience, talent and innovation. This means that people, businesses and public services are as secure and prepared against cyber-attacks as they can be. It also means that we have the right skills and workforce to achieve our vision and we have in place a thriving cyber economy. The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRD) has cybersecurity as a core strategic pillar to enable secure economic growth and prosperity. CCRD and WG have co-funded the Wales Cyber Innovation Hub to drive both growth in skilled people ready for work in cyber, and the number of cyber companies anchored and grown in Wales.

Universities as Centres of Excellence: Wales boasts some of the UK’s top universities in the sector, with Cardiff University recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC); and both Cardiff University and University of South Wales recognised as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE). With a proven track record in world class research transitioned to industrial applications, and in delivering hands-on cyber training, these prestigious institutions are at the forefront of providing cutting-edge innovation in the field of cybersecurity. These universities are nurturing a talent pool of cyber professionals who are well-equipped to tackle emerging threats and producing world-class research and skills to meet the sector demands.

Global Players: We are already home to global players in the cyber industry. There are an estimated 49 registered offices an 138 active cybersecurity offices based in Wales, employing 4% of cyber security professionals based in the UK. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cyber-security-sectoral-analysis-2023/uk-cyber-security-sectoral-analysis-2023#location-of-cyber-security-firms-uk).

There’s a lot of connectivity and collaboration between Wales-based companies, universities, government and support organisations, which have made Wales a hotbed for cybersecurity innovation and expertise.

Story credit: Cyber Innovation Hub Wales

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