The cybersecurity market in Catalonia grows 16% and now exceeds 1,2 billion euros

Catalan Economy · Tech & Digital Transformation

22 May 2024

According to a study by the Cybersecurity Agency of Catalonia and ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the number of companies in this sector has increased by 50% over the past five years.

The cybersecurity sector in Catalonia generates a business volume of 1.2 billion euros (data from 2022, the latest available), 16% more than the previous year and the highest figure on record. This is one of the main conclusions of the annual report "Cybersecurity in Catalonia (.PDF document)", prepared by the Cybersecurity Agency of Catalonia and ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment, which indicates that Catalonia is consolidating its position as one of the leading regions in Europe in this field.

The study highlights the growth of the cybersecurity sector in Catalonia. It indicates that the sector now is made up of 516 Catalan companies, a 50% increase over the past five years, generating 9,458 skilled jobs.

The vast majority of cybersecurity companies in Catalonia are small and medium-sized companies (85.3%), with 27.5% exporting their services. Regarding revenue per company, 54.5% exceed one million euros, and 24.2% report annual revenues of more than 10 million euros.

“Catalonia is the third region in the European Union in attracting the most foreign investment projects in 2023”

Catalonia, leading the way in Europe

In terms of international positioning, the study reveals that Catalonia is the third region in the European Union in attracting the most foreign investment projects in 2023. A total of over 66 million euros was attracted, resulting in the creation of 400 new jobs. Noteworthy investments include those from multinationals such as T-Systems, Getronics, and Advens.

In addition to the presence of multinationals such as CISCO, IBM, and Microsoft, the study highlights that Catalonia offers a dozen undergraduate, master's, and postgraduate programs specialized in cybersecurity, as well as around fifty vocational training courses. It also emphasizes the presence of top-tier technological centers and research institutes, including i2Cat, Eurecat, the Computer Vision Center (CVC), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), and the Telecommunications Technology Centre of Catalonia.

Trends in Catalonia and worldwide

The report confirms the global growth of cybersecurity, projecting that the sector's revenue will grow at an annual rate of 10% from 2023 to 2028, reaching $275 billion. However, it warns of a global talent shortage, with nearly 4 million vacancies needing to be filled worldwide. This issue is also evident in Catalonia, where there are currently around 12,000 job vacancies.

In terms of trends, the study primarily highlights that applications of generative artificial intelligence (AI) are driving a malicious increase in this technology. For instance, AI is being used to write more convincing phishing emails and scams, impersonate voices to simulate kidnappings, and create deepfakes to spread disinformation. All this will require the development of new automated solutions to ensure cybersecurity. Additionally, the report underscores that recent geopolitical conflicts may lead to increased activity from hacktivist groups and the need to bolster cybersecurity due to the growing trends of remote work and cloud services.

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