EY aims to double cybersecurity practise in China

22 December 2017 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read
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EY has recently enjoyed major growth in China, amid surging demand for security and digitalisation. In order to meet its booming cybersecurity workload, the firm has announced plans to double the size of its cyber practice in the region.

Professional services firm EY intends to double its cybersecurity services headcount in China over the following 18 months, according to EY’s global cybersecurity services head. The company is presently experiencing a ‘hyper growth mood’ in China, as businesses confront the need for security in the rapid digitalisation of their operations. The Big Four giant expects to have on-boarded as many as 300 dedicated cybersecurity specialists in China within the next year and a half.

EY’s cybersecurity services business has already grown by 50% this year in the Asia-Pacific region, outpacing growth in Europe and the US, with the economic superpower of China understandably one of the fastest growing markets in the region. The company has subsequently already extended its cybersecurity business from analytics and consulting to implementation and management, with the pace expected to speed up in China in line with the firm’s recruitment drive – as well as potential acquisitions in the region, although as of yet, the firm is yet to complete a single transaction of this sort in China.

EY aims to double cybersecurity practise in China

Earlier this year, EY acquired Australian internet security specialist firm Open Windows to create the new EY Identity Management Advisory Services practice. The centralised advisory platform is aimed at supporting clients in the region, in the wake of the “WannaCry” virus attack which affected 200,000 computers in 30,000 organisations across 120 countries. Richard Watson, EY’s Asia-Pacific Leader for Cybersecurity, said at the time of the purchase, “The need for organisations to protect infrastructure such as financial systems, power grids, telecommunication lines, transportation, commerce and health care systems from cyber threats has never been more important.

Commenting now, Watson said that EY presently has cybersecurity advisory services in eight cities in China and aims to further grow its footprint in the segment. “Our growth is really just limited by our own ability to hire people and on-board new services because the market demand that we see out there far exceeds our ability to serve the market at the moment,” he confirmed, adding, “There’s plenty of opportunities for us to grow our practices significantly as we really try to find good people to recruit both in Shanghai and all the major cities in China.”

Recruiting data has shown that cybersecurity specialists are among the most sought-after talent in China. Cyber specialists can get average pay increments of between 25% and 35%, 5% more than other jobs in information technology in China, according to the latest data from global recruiting firm Hays. The management consulting industry in China in general is also booming, meanwhile. The consulting market has seen growth of 12% over the past year, reaching a value of $45 billion.