The world's top 10 largest cybersecurity | security consulting firms

04 September 2017

The Big Four – Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG – are the globe’s largest security consulting firms, according to new data. British-headquartered defence conglomerate BAE Systems also made the top ten meanwhile, on the back of 14% growth in security consultancy over the last year.

Cybercrime has continued to be a key area of concern for people, businesses and governments across the globe. Large scale attacks, such as the recent WannaCry ransom attack, which compromised patient data in the UK’s NHS, while costing companies billions in lost business and creating additional long-term negative effects on share price. Total costs from cyberattacks last year hit an estimated $400 billion, while for businesses globally the figure came in at an estimated $280 billion.

Due to the hot-topic of cyber-attacks coming to prominence over the past year, security consulting has become a major segment in the professional services sector. With a growing number of businesses now placing cybersecurity in their firm as a higher ranking priority, consulting firms are experiencing a boost, as clients seek external advise on how to best insulate their companies from the next WannaCry. There are thousands of management consulting and IT consulting firms which offer security consultancy services, however analysis of data gathered by Gartner reveals that the consulting industry’s Big Four have become the dominant forces in the security advisory sector. The following ranking regards about security consulting firms only, it is important to note it does not include managed security services revenues or associated capabilities.

Topping the list, Deloitte records the greatest annual revenue for security consulting by some way. Bringing in over $2.8 billion a year, the firm has seen an increase of 14% from 2015 levels, while continuing to invest in security and cybersecurity solutions with alliances and partnerships. EY follows with a revenue of $2.03 billion, which is also an increase of 8.2% on last year – however thanks to Deloitte’s rapid growth it remains a distant second, despite acquisitions such as its purchase of Open Windows Identity. The cybersecurity firm’s capture was targeted at growing EY’s global security presence, with the acquired company firm becoming the firm’s new APAC region Identity Management Centre of Excellence.

The 10 largest security consulting firms of the globe

PwC, who launched a cybercentre to help clients battle digital attacks late in 2016 meanwhile ranked third, with revenues of over $1.9 billion, while final Big Four member KPMG, who in a 2017 report encouraged businesses to increase investment in security, ranked slightly behind with $1.6 billion – both firms seeing a 17.8% increase on last year’s figures. Like PwC, IBM launched a cybersecurity module in partnership with the WMG Cybersecurity Centre earlier in 2017. Reflecting a troubled period elsewhere, despite a booming security market Big Blue has seen security consulting revenues almost stagnate at $731 million, a narrow increase of just 0.6%.

Other top cybersecurity consultancies

Outside the top five, after a year of rapid spending toward a $1.8 billion global target, the aggressive expansion of Accenture has helped see security consulting revenues at the firm rise by 6.2% to hit $601 million. Following in seventh place, Booz Allen Hamilton, which partnered with Splunk in Summer of 2017 to unveil a new cyber threat intelligence service to clients of the firm, saw a slimmer raise of 2.1%, to $482 million in revenue.

HP Enterprise ranked eighth. Despite invested in IT consulting services to create consulting spin-off CSC last year, the group saw security consulting revenues fall 3% to $388 million in Gartner’s latest figures. Specialists Optiv Security ranked ninth, as the only firm to explicitly focus on security solutions within a top ten dominated by more diverse firms. Optiv saw revenues jump an impressive 15.5% to $373 million over the past year, following its acquisition by private equity firm KKR in late 2016.

Rounding off the top ten meanwhile, British multinational defence, security, and aerospace company BAE Systems saw revenue in security consulting hit 14.2% to $290 million. The group, headquartered in London, appears to be successfully diversifying into the sector to add to its more traditional portfolio, which includes a number of state and private sector solutions contracts.


Six attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

23 April 2019

Consulting firms dominate the 25 companies named by LinkedIn as the most attractive organisations to work for in Britain. JLL, Engie, CBRE, Atkins, Schroders and GE each made the grade, with the professional services sector putting in the strongest showing of any industry in the UK.

Each year, the editors and data scientists of social business platform LinkedIn examine which firms are the most attractive to job seekers, as well as which are the best at retaining their talent. Utilising information gathered from billions of actions taken by more than 433 million members, LinkedIn leverages a data-driven approach to consider what members are doing – not just saying – in their search for fulfilling careers. The result is the Top Companies list, an annual ranking of the most sought-after companies – now in its fifth year.

Each of the previous incarnations of the list has seen a strong showing from the UK consulting industry, with its contingent including McKinsey & Company, EYBoston Consultancy Group and Accenture in 2018. This year has seen the sector continue to see its stock rise, with the diversity of the sector’s workload buoying six professional services firms which were not on the previous ranking to prominence.

Analysing the anonymised actions of British-based LinkedIn members, the company determined which firms were the most attractive through four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention. As a result of this, real estate professional services firm JLL was found to be the most attractive consulting firm to LinkedIn members in the UK.

Six most attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

Ranked sixth in the overall list of companies, 2018 saw the commercial real estate services consultancy expand its London-based Ratings practice in anticipation of growing demand for real estate valuations in the UK. JLL, which boasts a global headcount of 82,000, holds UK locations in London, Norwich and Manchester, and the firm was recently named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 12th year in a row by The Ethisphere Institute. 

Sitting 10th in LinkedIn’s ranking, Engie is a French multinational professional services firm, headquartered in La Défense, Courbevoie. While the firm primarily operates in utilities – specifically in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy and petroleum – its investment in cleaner tech has also seen it come to offer a host of engineering consulting services, including feasibility studies, engineering, project management and client support. The firm’s 19,000 UK staff work from offices in London, Leeds and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

With a global headcount of 90,000, CBRE, which was ranked 13th by LinkedIn, is a real estate advisory firm, with UK offices in London, Birmingham and Glasgow. The firm oversaw the sale of a number of major locations over the course of 2018, including a key residential site in North Leigh, and an office belonging to the British Steel Pension Fund.

Atkins, which was listed 23rd, is a British professional services firm which was purchased by the SNC-Lavalin Group for £2.1 billion in 2017. With 7,300 employees in the UK, Atkins operates from locations in London, Bristol, Kingston-upon-Thames, and offers services in engineering, operations, programme and project management. Late in 2018, the firm was named one of the top employers in the UK for working mothers, receiving plaudits for its innovation in flexible working from

Schroders, a global asset management firm with UK offices in London, Bromley, Chelmsford, ranked 24th. Asset management is a fast-expanding segment of consulting, and according to LinkedIn, 43% of the professional services firm’s staff have been at the company for at least six years, while nearly a third of UK roles were filled with internal candidates in 2017. Schroders boasts a global headcount of 4,600.

Finally, multifaceted professional services firm GE was ranked 25th. The engineering, operations, information technology and advisory firm has its hand in everything from energy to health care – where it was recently nominated for a prize at the 2019 Management Consultancies Association Awards. The long-standing conglomerate said 2019 is set to be a “reset year”, while it seeks to revamp its power-related businesses at the same time that it builds on strong growth within the aviation scene.

Other sectors

Elsewhere, the financial services industry saw a high level of representation in LinkedIn’s ranking. JP Morgan was listed in second place, while Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Aviva also made the grade. This represents a decline of one listing since 2018’s figures, perhaps reflecting the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s financial sector, amid the continued twists and turns of the Brexit saga.

Retail saw a slight rebound on its decimation in last year’s ranking. Having seemingly fallen out of favour in 2018, Sainsbury’s returned this year, sitting in third place. It was joined in the top 25 by fellow ‘Big Four’ supermarket Asda – though the news that some 60,000 Asda staff could be in line to lose their paid lunch breaks under new contracts could well see the company drop off the list in 2020. Marks & Spencer also made the list. The historically up-market supermarket now runs a work-placement programme called Marks & Start, which helps single parents, people with disabilities and the homeless to build careers within the company.

Healthcare and pharmaceuticals saw three entrants in the list too. Britain’s 50 fastest-growing privately-owned pharmaceutical companies have all increased sales by at least 10% in each of their last two financial years, facing down headwinds such as Brexit and NHS spending pressures to deliver rapid growth. GSK represented the pharmaceutical sector in fourth place, while Bupa and Johnson & Johnson stood for the healthcare and hospital industry in fifth and 16th respectively.

While the technology sector ultimately hosted the ranking’s top performer, Amazon, the only other sector incumbent was Google parent company Alphabet, in 19th. Salesforce and Dell Technologies, meanwhile, dropped off the ranking, having both been present in 2018.

The oil and energy sector’s representation is supplemented by hybrid firm Engie; however, the sector only fielded two pure-play members. BP, in eighth, and Shell, in 11th, have both spent time attempting to diversify in recent years, prompted by public image crises relating to the negative impact of fossil fuels on the planet, as well declining oil prices and the rising demand for renewable energy. These dynamics have, in turn, led to new skills coming into demand within the companies. 

Finally, the list was rounded off by singular representatives of five separate industries. Representing leisure in 12th was TUI, followed by food producer Associated British Foods (17th), building materials firm Travis Perkins (20th), telecommunications giant BT (21st) and utilities firm Centrica (22nd).