The world-leading UK security technology sector is seeing strong sales and job growth


  • Safety tech sector revenue increased 21 percent last year.
  • Employment in the sector has grown by 30 per cent, to 2,850 people across the UK

British safety tech companies are leading the global fight to prevent online harm and are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the UK tech industry, according to an independent report published by the government today.

Over a hundred companies across the UK are developing new products and services to make online platforms, applications and websites safer. They do this by, for example, tackling illegal content – such as child sexual abuse and terrorist material – online harassment and disinformation, and preventing inappropriate content for minors.

UK Safety Tech Sector: 2022 A 2022 analysis by Visual Economics on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport shows that UK safety tech sector revenues increased by 21% last year to £381 million.

In the year There is a 30 percent increase in the number of safety tech jobs by 2021, with an additional 650 jobs, bringing the number of people employed in the sector to 2,850. Jobs in the sector include content moderators, policy experts, and research and technology developers.

The safety tech sector is on course for further growth, with a record £63 million in foreign equity investment last year.

According to the second Trust, Safety and Digital Economy report released today, companies that embrace online security technology generally experience greater brand trust, higher user engagement and better employee and customer retention.

Digital Minister Damian Collins said:

Making the online world more secure is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business.

UK tech companies are developing practical solutions to the dangers of the internet to ensure it continues to benefit lives.

They have built growth, innovation and job creation to become world leaders in their fields and we are committed to continuing their upward journey.

There are now 117 safety tech companies operating across the UK, an increase of 17 last year. More than half of these companies are based outside London, with hotspots in Leeds, Edinburgh and Manchester.

These organizations include Chester-based GoBubble, which has partnered with Professional Footballers Australia and FTSE 250 companies to protect their social media channels from online hate and abuse. Based in Edinburgh, Cyacomb is working with law enforcement agencies in Germany, Canada and across the US to find illegal child sexual abuse content. Winner of the 2021 Computing Award for Best Emerging AI Technology, the Dorset-based image analyzer provides AI-based content editing technology for images and video, including live streaming footage uploaded by users.

Professor Ciaran Martin CB, Professor of Government at the University of Oxford, Advisor to Paladin Capital Group and Chief Executive of the UK’s National Cyber ​​Security Centre.

Properly designed, secure technology is critical to everything about our future in an uncertain and sometimes dangerous world. As this report shows, the UK is well positioned to develop security technology in some key areas. It is important that we seize this opportunity.”

Andy Burroughs, head of online safety policy at the NSPCC, said:

The UK is well positioned to be a global leader in tackling online harm and developing innovative solutions to protect children from preventable abuse. The development of the safety technology market will increase the safety of children and bring significant economic benefits. As these reports make clear, the upcoming regulation will stimulate innovation and provide safer and better-designed online services for children and young people.

Ian Stevenson, Chairman of the Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA), said:

Safety Tech Sector Analysis I am pleased to see that the sector has seen significant growth in sales, employment and investment and continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy. The new Trust, Safety and Digital Economy report highlights how platforms can benefit from security technology to create healthier and more resilient online environments, which have business value and benefit their users. These new analyzes will help OSTIA members and others in the sector to continue these positive trends.

The Trust Safety and Digital Economy study, conducted by Ipsos, Perspective Economics and Careful Industries, looked at six different industries that are vital to the UK economy: gaming and entertainment; Social media, apps and platforms; media and creative industries; Retail and Services; digital infrastructure; and the public sector, to understand the business case for investing in online trust and online safety.

These report findings support the measures outlined in the Online Safety Bill, and the Government’s commitment to ensuring the UK is the safest place to be online.

It ends

Notes to the editor

  • Earlier this month, Minister for Tech and Digital Economy Damian Collins held a roundtable with safety tech industry leaders to discuss new and emerging UK technology solutions to tackle the various online harms of fraud and child exploitation and how the government can do so. Better support the growing sector
  • The UK Safety Tech Sector Analysis report from 2020 looks at the growth of this fast-growing sector in which the UK is an emerging leader. Read the 2020 and 2021 reports here.
  • Interviews were conducted between September 2021 and January 2022 with participants from 26 organizations for the Trust, Security and Digital Economy report. Two stakeholder workshops were also held in autumn 2021.
  • The UK Online Security Tech Industry Association (OSTIA) was established in April 2020 to bring together the UK’s leading security tech companies to promote online security innovations and solutions in the UK and overseas.
  • The government has supported the safety tech sector by setting up the Safety Tech Challenge Fund to encourage UK technology companies to develop innovative solutions that help protect user privacy and children’s safety in end-to-end encrypted environments.
  • In June, the government set out its support for the security technology sector in the UK Digital Strategy, which includes a vision to grow the digital economy, including technology sector skills, investment and infrastructure.



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