The Irish government and businesses have formed a new coalition, Cyber Ireland, to develop Ireland into the world leader in the sphere of cyber security.
Cyber security is an industry with massive potential for business investors. According to Cyber Ireland, cyber security spending will reach nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars worldwide by 2023, with cyber-crime having cost businesses and individuals some $600bn in 2017 alone.
Cyber Ireland noted that Ireland is often chosen by companies at the forefront of the industry due to Ireland's strong talent pool and highly skilled multilingual workforce, having one of the highest graduates’ enrolments in mathematics, science, and technology fields in the EU-28.
Already, the top-five worldwide security software companies are located in Ireland, and the country is home to over 6,000 people working in the cyber security industry.
Supported by IDA Ireland, the public-private coalition has already launched the National Cyber Security Cluster, which is hosted at the Cork Institute of Technology. Its creation was called for by industry at a cyber security industry forum event held in Cork in 2017.
The Cluster's efforts will focus on:
• Ensuring Ireland supports the development of talented IT security professionals;
• Improving information security research and innovation, with synergies between industry and academia;
• Promoting Ireland's brand as a location for cybersecurity excellence;
• Supporting businesses to establish operations in other territories while using Ireland as a base; and
• Identifying opportunities for cross-industry collaboration.
Membership of the Cluster is open to all companies and organisations that are deemed to provide, or consume to some extent, cyber security products or services, and to those that play an important role in Ireland's cyber security sector.
Organisations must have operations established in Ireland to become a member, and for the first year until May 2020 membership is free.
Announcing the Cluster, Irish minister Richard Bruton said:
"Cyber Ireland will 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."
Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphrey's added:
"The announcement of Cyber Ireland and the development of a national cyber security cluster is a significant step forward for the industry in Ireland.”
“This exciting new initiative brings together key stakeholders from both industry and academia and will provide a clear platform for the industry to address key challenges. The cluster will help to build on our existing strengths in the technology sector and enable Ireland to become a global leader in cyber security research, development, and training.”
Stakeholders have held a number of events recently in Ireland, ahead of the cluster's launch on 20 May, 2019.
Most recently, the Cyber Security Transatlantic Policy Forum was convened in Killarney on 10 May. The one-day forum brought together government agencies, law enforcement, policymakers, academics and cyber industry leaders to share insights and discuss how best to protect people and business into the future.
The conference was a collaboration between the University of Nottingham, Queens University Belfast, Boston College and Killarney Economic Conference, who all shared a common concern that cyber-crime and cyber terrorism pose a unique problem for Ireland given the large number of US multinationals here.
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