Ireland has the world class potential to become a global cyber security centre of excellence, experts have said. Members of Ireland’s Cyber Security ecosystem convened at workshops in Cork, Galway, and Dublin for the initiation of a national Cyber Security Cluster organisation for Ireland. Cyber Ireland brings together industry, academia, and government to represent the needs of the Cyber Security industry in Ireland and to realise international opportunities. The 300 attendees heard from experts who discussed “What is needed to make Ireland a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence?”
Ireland’s cyber security industry employs over 6.000 people and includes many of the world’s top security software MNCs: McAfee, Trend Micro, Forcepoint, eSentire, and MasterCard, as well as a growing SME sector. Globally, the cyber security sector will be valued at $250 billion within five years, rapidly evolving to tackle the $600 billion which high tech crime is costing governments, companies, and citizens around the world. Recognising this opportunity, a number of well-placed multi-nationals and academic bodies have pooled resources and, backed by IDA Ireland, are working to ensure that the country makes the most of the potential for new job creation and innovation.
Dr Eoin Byrne, Cluster Manager Cyber Ireland said “Cyber Ireland will act as a catalyst for bringing together the key stakeholders from industry, academia, and Government to make a real impact on the development of the cyber security cluster in Ireland. Industry must be at the pinnacle of what the cluster is trying to achieve with the backing of these three pillars. The worldwide cyber security industry is growing unprecedentedly and now is the right time to make Ireland a world-class one-stop shop for cyber security. A cyber security cluster can pioneer Ireland on a global scale to attract further foreign direct investment and develop indigenous SMEs in this sector, but everyone must work together.”
The IDA’s Donal Travers echoed these remarks and said cyber security was relevant to all industries, including pharma, life sciences, and financial services.
Klaus Bolving, Cluster Manager of the Danish National Innovation Cluster for Security, was the keynote speaker for the workshops. He spoke about the importance of the business cluster concept as part of the development of the Danish Security cluster and how this might serve as a benchmark for the development of Cyber Ireland
The panel experts highlighted trust, knowledge sharing and the shortage of much-needed talent and skillsets as key needs and challenges for the sector. Computer science lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Dr Donna O’Shea said the “time is now for academia and industry to work together on cyber security. There is no national research centre in cyber security and there has not been a major investment in cyber security research, which is critical to establishing Ireland as a centre of excellence. It was time for all participants to shout louder. “
IDA Ireland is supporting the establishment of a National Cyber Security Cluster in Ireland, which is hosted at Cork Institute of Technology. The cluster aims to address challenges in the sector, including skills needs, research and the development of a national community which connects industry, academia, and government.
Cyber Ireland is based on cluster-style initiatives (operating across Europe & internationally), that have proven extremely successful in enhancing innovation, growth, and competitiveness of regions, and the companies that are part of the cluster.
Dr Eoin Byrne is cluster manager and leading the development of the cluster.