The breadth and diversity of the security sector can often lead to confusion about what ‘security’ is. Whether you are aware of it or not, the UK’s security sector protects many aspects of our lives. Below details just some of the ways in which the UK security and resilience sector protects us at home, online, and in the skies.
The UK security sector has a £13 billion annual turnover, and has experienced 133% growth since 2010. The security sector is also a significant employer of skilled professionals, with 100,000 direct employees and nearly 3,000 apprentices.
The sector provides protective technologies and services to the facilities, systems, sites, information, people, networks and processes, necessary for a country to function and upon which daily life depends – they country’s critical national infrastructure (CNI).
In the UK there are 13 national infrastructure sectors: Chemicals, Civil Nuclear Communications, Defence, Emergency Services, Energy, Finance, Food, Government, Health, Space, Transport and Water. Several sectors have defined ‘sub-sectors’; Emergency Services for example can be split into Police, Ambulance, Fire Services and Coast Guard. However, 80% of UK critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, this demonstrates the integral role industry plays in ensuring the country is able to function.
Protecting our borders is also important to making us safer at home in the UK. The government has pledge capital investment totally £1.3 billion by 2019-2020 to deliver state-of-the-art security at the border, and the UK sector continues to develop and innovate, creating cutting-edge solutions to increase our safety whilst minimising the disruption to our daily activities.
We are spending more of our time on the internet, and as more and more business is conducted online, the importance of staying safe online has become increasingly apparent. From banking, to shopping, to storing sensitive and personal information online, cybersecurity has become an important consideration in our lives.
Today, cybercrime is far more common than domestic burglary, and awareness is the key for individuals and organisations to protect themselves from the threat. The sector is a global leader in cybersecurity products and services. 45% of the UK security sector’s exports are cyber related, which just goes to demonstrate how highly British innovation in security is regarded internationally.
Furthermore, in order to assist in preparation and awareness within the UK, the security sector is working alongside with government in the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to help protect the UK online.
In the skies
The UK is also at the forefront of protecting us in the skies and when we travel overseas through using cutting-edge security equipment to screen people, luggage and cargo. The vast scale of the task at hand is demonstrated by the fact that Heathrow Airport alone processes 200,000 bags every single day, and in 2016 there were 252 million users of UK airports. To ensure your safety, £26 million is being invested to develop and deploy screening technology at UK airports by 2021.
The UK security sector is at the forefront in providing safe connections, communications and navigation in aircraft, making sure planes arrive safely and securely. UK experts also provide services and equipment abroad, helping to ensure that you remain safe when you travel.