Tuesday 18 June 2019

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Cork Independent

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New national security cluster to be Cork-based

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 4:57pm

Cork’s preeminent cyber security position in Ireland was boosted recently with the announcement that a national cyber security cluster is to be established here.

This major announcement means that Cork could be set to create more jobs in the cyber security area through the national cluster, which will be called Cyber Ireland.

Facilitated by CIT, it is supported by IDA Ireland and will provide a collective voice to represent the needs of the cyber security sector across the country and will address key challenges including: skills needs, research and the development of a national community which connects industry, academia and government.

CIT, which has best practice cluster development expertise and a strong core of in-depth cyber security expertise among its faculty, will drive the development of the national cluster.

Minister Richard Bruton, Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment whose department holds responsibility for Ireland’s national cyber security strategy described the announcement as a “really exciting opportunity. This initiative will greatly advance the sector in Ireland, by facilitating greater collaboration between the companies involved. There are already more than 6,000 people employed in cyber security here, but there is considerable potential for further growth, particularly with the potential of areas like cloud computing.

“Cyber Ireland will also provide a collective voice for the sector and will provide an avenue for challenges facing the sector to be addressed. Overall the establishment of the cluster will result in a better cyber security response for the State and better outcomes for the companies involved.”

Dr Eoin Byrne, Senior Researcher in CIT who will lead and manage development of the cluster said: “For Cyber Ireland to be successful, it needs to be industry-driven, supported by third level education and Government. Without the co-operation of these three pillars, the cluster cannot reach its full potential.

“Industry must be at the core of the cluster, which needs to be championed by passionate and dedicated leaders. Academia is also critical in addressing the skills and training needs of industry. We look forward to engaging with industry and academia across Ireland in the coming months to develop a programme that is in line with international best practice in cluster development based on key learnings from successful cluster initiatives elsewhere in Europe.”

Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said: “Ireland has become a significant base of international technology and cyber security companies thanks to a growing, well-educated and flexible workforce with a rapidly increasing graduate output. The cyber security industry in Ireland is growing at an unprecedented rate and we believe Ireland is uniquely placed to benefit from increased global investment to position itself as a world class cyber security cluster.”

Cyber Ireland is also supported by a number of leading cyber security and technology firms in Ireland, who called for the establishment of a cluster to represent industry needs and address key challenges, including Johnson Controls International, Dell EMC, IBM, McAfee, McKesson and Trend Micro, many of whom are based in Cork.

Johnson Controls International serve customers in more than 150 countries. Donal Sullivan, VP & General Manager sees the importance of Cyber Ireland and the benefits of the cluster for industry.

“We are seeing a profound transformation in our digital lives and environment. The security of connected objects and cyber-physical systems, advances brought about by artificial intelligence or data-centric security are three examples of major challenges and opportunities.

“To ensure the continued growth, sustainability and international competitiveness of cyber security firms in Ireland, there is a need to support industry and address certain challenges. Cyber Ireland provides a unique opportunity to co-ordinate the many organizations involved in cyber security in Ireland and position the country as a global leader.”

Minister Heather Humphreys, Department for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation said the cluster will help to “build on our existing strengths in the technology sector and enable Ireland to become a global leader in cybersecurity research, development and training”.

From 18 to 20 February 2019, there will be a series of cluster initiation workshops organised in Cork, Dublin and Galway, which will provide industry and higher education institutes with an opportunity to learn about Cyber Ireland and its benefits and value to cluster members. The objective is to develop a robust collaborative mandate that will strengthen Ireland’s cyber security ecosystem.

For further info on Ireland’s cyber security cluster initiative and how to get involved, see www.cyberireland.ie, www.linkedin.com or contact eoin.byrne@cyberireland.ie.

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