• Articles
  • July 11, 2019
  • Gareth Morris

IT Security & Defence in a post-Brexit world


As the country debates deals, elections and referendums, attention has been diverted from more serious effects from our divorce with the EU – specifically how Brexit will impact the IT security and defence market. 

More than half of UK businesses are increasing their cybersecurity budgets ready for a post-Brexit apocalypse that sees an increase in malware, phishing, ransomware and nation-state cyber-attacks. But while companies prepare to battle the cyber-criminals exploiting post-Brexit fear, uncertainties and inconsistencies, they’re overlooking the other cyber-threats that lie ahead. 


Brexit has brought employment woes to industries across Britain, but these concerns are particularly heightened, and valid, in the IT defence and security sector. The cybersecurity skills gap existed long before Brexit came into existence and remains today. 

The Parliament’s Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy describes the shortage in specialist skills and deep technical expertise as “one of the greatest challenges [the Government] face in relation to cybersecurity.” This concern and shortage are only going to increase as workers’ freedom of movement between the UK and EU is restricted, and those that can relocate become concerned about hostility. 

For candidates, this could mean an opportunity to develop your cyber security career with an increase in IT security and defence vacancies alongside the salaries and benefits offered. For companies, this means that you must start benchmarking your IT salaries, thinking of new ways to attract talent and look at ways to increase employee retention. 

Regulatory compliance

Up until now, the management of data has been largely EU-driven, with regulations such as GDPR and NIS being enshrined in UK law. But, the future of EU-driven security law and the implications for businesses holding European data remains hugely uncertain. 

Many questions surround the issue, including whether the UK will replicate updates to GDPR, how differences between future regulations will be handled, whether concerns will be raised about the UK’s standards and the implications for organisations holding EU data.  

While the future surrounding regulatory compliance remains uncertain, we can be sure that there will be significant work in the future for those responsible for complying with security laws – be that UK or EU. 

Information sharing

Information sharing is crucial in the fight against cybercrime and, accordingly, is a big concern following Brexit. It’s predicted that the UK will be subject to extensive cyberattacks from criminals who believe that UK law enforcement no longer has access to the same information as the EU. Whether this belief is valid or not remains in question. 

Following Brexit, it may become more difficult for organisations identifying, reporting and mitigating against cybercrime to cooperate with their EU counterparts – and vice versa. This could diminish the UK and EU’s ability to stay ahead of cybercriminals and largely relies upon the UK’s renegotiation of its cyber security relationships with EU members. 

For businesses, the Brexit effect on information sharing could be catastrophic if it increases exposure to criminal attacks. To stay ahead, you’ll need to employ the top and most up-to-date IT security and defence professionals out there. For those cyber professionals who are on top of their game, you’ll be in significant demand over the coming years, which is why you might want to consider working with a specialist IT and defence recruitment company.

Final thoughts

While no one can be certain of the outcomes of an EU-less Britain, we can be confident that cybercrime will remain an increasing threat to businesses, necessitating recruiting of the best IT security and defence teams out there. 

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