Ciaran Luttrell, Senior Director of Security Operations, EMEA at eSentire; Fernando Correa Borges, MTU IT Management student and bursary recipient; Megan Kearney, SOC Team Lead at eSentire and Dr Seán McSweeney, Head of the Department of Computer Science at MTU. Photo: Darragh Kane

MTU student wins cybersecurity bursary

The eSentire Sean Hennessy Bursary, now in its second year, has been awarded to Fernando Correa Borges, a second year IT Management student at Munster Technological University (MTU).

The Sean Hennessy Bursary was founded in 2021 as a collaboration between eSentire and the Department of Computer Science at MTU, in response to Ireland's growing cybersecurity skills shortage. Sean was instrumental in building the original eSentire Cork SOC team from 2015 to 2016 and was previously a member of the defence forces.

Cybersecurity has become a crucial concerns for industries, governments, and many people. According to the most recent State of the Cyber Security Sector in Ireland report, from Cyber Skills and Cyber Ireland, annual cybersecurity related revenue in Ireland reached approximately €2.1bn for 2021.

Yet, 61% of organisations in Ireland have personnel-related shortfalls with an estimated 10,000 additional cybersecurity workers needed in Ireland, on top of the existing 7,300, to plug this critical skills gap.

eSentire is a centre of excellence for cybersecurity.

The company’s mission is to hunt, investigate and stop cyber threats before they become business disrupting events. As an organisation with the largest security operations centre in the southwest region of Ireland, they have contributed considerably to the broader development of the area and their security analysts are highly trained experts.

The Sean Hennessy Bursary provides financial aid that can be applied towards the recipient’s second, third, and fourth year at MTU. In addition to receiving €1,500 of assistance per annum over their remaining three years at MTU, the recipient will also get the chance to participate in a nine-month internship with eSentire throughout their third year leading into a part-time role with the firm for their fourth year.

eSentire’s call for entries invited applications from second year computer science students. Five students were shortlisted for interviews and Fernando was selected based on his impressive interview and technical assessment results and his excellent academic transcripts.

Dr Seán McSweeney, Head of the Department of Computer Science at MTU said: “eSentire is an invaluable partner to MTU and, in particular, the Faculty of Engineering and Science. eSentire’s pledge to enhancing skills in the south-west region of Ireland has created an environment where our students can now engage with experts in industry and develop their careers. We look forward to a continuous and meaningful partnership that will lead us to close the skills gap in cybersecurity and make Ireland leaders in the field, globally.”

“MTU continues to be our primary educational partner in Ireland and we’re delighted to be partnering with them through the Sean Hennessey Bursary and continuing to run our industry-leading intern program, with four students joining us in late January. In our experience, the calibre of students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in MTU is simply unparalleled across Ireland,” said Ciaran Luttrell, Sr. Director of Security Operations EMEA at eSentire.

“Despite the challenging macro-economic climate and headwinds facing the technology industry, eSentire continues to invest in cybersecurity talent to protect our customers 24/7 from business disrupting events.”