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Growing cyber security need is opportunity for real estate

The increase in home working that is likely to persist beyond the Covid-19 lockdown measures is giving rise to concerns about cyber security. In part this is owing to the use of personal smart phones and PCs to access corporate information.

Photo: Franck V, Unsplash.

Savills says while prior to lock down 32%  of office workers worked remotely one to two days a week, 55% expect to do this after lockdown “as working practices become more agile”.

The lockdowns themselves have prompted a spate of attacks on ecommerce and online payment businesses as well as the healthcare sector.

The number of cyber attacks has grown 67% in the last five years, and Accenture figures reveal that the average cost of these attacks has grown 12% in a year to $13 million.

While that in itself is a concern according to property consultant Savills in its European Cybersecurity report, this will actually give further impetus to the industry that is growing up around cyber security. While much of this business is centred in the US, there is a growing contingent of European-grown and US subsidiary companies occupying space in Europe and the UK.

Savills: 5 years VC investment in European headquartered cyber security companies.

Savills expects further office demand from such companies especially in the locations where the most funding has been attracted to the sector.

Savills says European headquartered cyber security firms have attracted €2.3 billion in venture capital in the last five years, including a record €724 million in 2019. While €1.3bn of the five year total went to the UK, the sectors in France, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany and Spain also attracted significant amounts.

Savills also sees indications of a need for a dedicated cyber-security park and noted that there are plans for a development known as Cyber Central UK which is to be located adjacent to GCHQ, the UK government’s intelligence listening station in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

However, the firm notes that cyber-security firms often have close links to universities which also influences their expansion.