As hackers continue their virtual assault, robbing data and personal information in sectors extending from health care to retail sales, all industries will soon require specialists in digital security to fight their corner. In terms of which country is doing it best, Ireland is the unforeseen winner and pioneer of cyber-security.
Ireland has already established itself as a revolutionary technology hub, and cyber-security is another field in which it has the potential to lead the way. Today cyber-security is rarely out of the news, and while headlines cover alleged hacking of elections and enormous data breaches, cyber criminals present a real and tangible danger to small businesses and every type of company needs competent staff with the skills and knowledge to help lessen the risk. Ireland is fast becoming a European security hub with a substantial base of global technology and security companies not least because of its developing, skilled and flexible workforce.
Companies from various industries chose Ireland as their business location for numerous reasons such as tax relief, a proven track record, an experienced and diverse workforce, a pro-business environment, a reputable academic network and access to the EU. When judging Ireland as a business location for cyber-security companies, talent and the present cluster of innovative companies appeared to be the strongest pull. Numerous security software companies, including Trend Micro, FireEye, Intel Security Group and Symantec have seen this potential and Ireland has one of the highest shares of cyber security roles advertised in the world, coming second only to Israel.
"Up until recently we could all experience online communication and commerce without having to think too much about security."
A report last year by consultants Deloitte revealed that Ireland ranks highly for global cyber-security activity, alongside other countries including Israel, Canada, Australia and India. The report advises that security practices to defy the more complex scams will demand pioneering solutions that could lead to significant job creation. Fortunately then, the European Commission launched a new public-private partnership on cyber-security that is set to release an estimated €1.8 billion of investment by 2020 to better prepare Europe against cyber-attacks and to bolster the competitiveness of its cyber-security industry. Due to the digital age we live in, companies are capable of building up personal information about their consumers, indicating that businesses are more open to cyber risks than ever before.
Last year the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, launched a report on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in Irish schools, and set out a programme to make Ireland a world-leader at providing STEM education, aiming to make Ireland the best education and training service in Europe within ten years. With objectives like these Ireland is making large strides towards closing the skills gap and the cyber-security industry shouldn’t be lacking trained labour any time soon.
Up until recently we could all experience online communication and commerce without having to think too much about security. Alas, this is no more. Highlighting this massive shift is the huge hike in the market value of the cyber-security industry. In 2004, the global cyber-security market was worth $3.5 billion. This year it is forecast to reach $120 billion. Cyber-security should be a top priority for all businesses, regardless of their size or what industry they operate in. Ireland, a country of eternal resilience, is a leading location for companies dedicated to fighting cyber-crime.
Canadian cyber-security firm eSentire, providing security for $2.2trillion worth of online assets for a number of clients across the financial, legal and biopharma sectors, declined the opportunity to expand its London base, preferring to set up a new European headquarters in Cork, Ireland. Attracted by the talented and educated workforce, the value balance, the competitive tax environment, the superb quality of life and the successful global brands already operating in Cork, eSentire wants to grow its workforce to 100 within the first five years. The company already has two offices in Canada, as well as operations in New York and London