Potential for Ireland to develop a cyber security cluster, report finds

Employment, Technology | Wed 24 Feb | Author – Business & Finance
Deloitte Cyber Security
Pictured are Stephen Nolan, CEO of the International Sustainability and Investment Centre and Colm McDonnell, partner, Risk Advisory, Deloitte

Ireland is well placed to benefit from increased global investment, and has a real opportunity to position itself as a world-class cyber security practices, solutions and investment hub, according to a report published by Deloitte today.

The analysis was carried out to assess how Ireland is viewed as a location for cyber businesses, the important factors when deciding where to locate a cyber business, and how the potential to become a global hub can be capitalised on.

Increased regulation on data privacy, more sophisticated scamming and phishing and growth in identity theft are major trends that will demand sophisticated solutions that will lead to significant job creation.

The cyber opportunity analysis report conducted in association with the International Sustainability and Investment Centre, found that Ireland has already proven itself to be an innovative technology hub, and this is another area in which it can become a global leader.

While respondents to a survey carried out as part of this analysis identified the US as the number one location for a cyber business, followed by the UK, Ireland ranks well as a potential location of choice, and is ranked alongside cyber strongholds such as Israel, Canada, Australia and India.

There is a surge in requirements for enhanced cyber security with respondents identifying increased regulation on data privacy (73%), more sophisticated scamming and phishing (59%) and growth in identity theft (53%) as the major trends in the cyber area over the next five years.

The analysis shows that businesses will change how they organise and manage data security, either internally or through third-party providers.

Over a third (36%) of respondents to the survey felt there would be a trend towards outsourcing cyber management to third-party organisations, and just over a quarter (27%) think that businesses will establish global/regional centres of excellence for managing this function.

In order to capitalise on the opportunity to become a global hub, the report identifies a number of areas which should be addressed by collaboration across government, enterprise, universities, and the research sector.

When asked to rate Ireland as a base for cyber security, interestingly, skills came top of the list of both positive and negative factors, indicating that while the technology talent and education systems are well regarded, the depth of the talent pool may not be regarded as sufficient.

The second most positive factor with regards to Ireland is proximity to industry (25% of respondents). This is due to the scale of the technology footprint in Ireland and the technology cluster that already exists.

Colm McDonnell, partner, Risk Advisory, Deloitte, said: “Ireland ranked well in its relative attractiveness as a location for cyber business and ranks well on the factors that were deemed most important. However its cyber footprint is relatively small and there is scope for further action and development to ensure this ranking is maintained, and indeed improved upon.”

Stephen Nolan, CEO of the International Sustainability and Investment Centre, commented: “Over the next number of years we will see a dramatic increase in the levels of global cyber investment with a significant portion of these supporting energy, water and food technology platforms. For Ireland, its competitive advantages, a growing cyber cluster, and a partnership approach have the potential to allow Ireland to develop as a world-class cyber security practice, solutions and investment hub.”