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The state of Ireland’s Cyber Security industry 2018

The cluster of cybersecurity companies making Ireland their home continues to develop. Ireland’s second-largest city, Cork, located in the south of the country is home to companies like; Trend Micro, Trustev/TransUnion. Cylance, eSentire, FireEye, Malwarebytes, McAfee, AlienVault, Sophos, Smarttech and Keeper Security. 

The city of Cork is home to nearly 60 technology companies involved in manufacturing, software development and global business services. In addition to this, a number of companies are growing their cybersecurity teams internally. Companies like IBM, Clearstream, Johnson Controls, VMware, Qualcomm, Apple, Amazon, Dell EMC, Enhance, and McKesson are all developing in-house cybersecurity teams. 

“Compelling business environment” - IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said speaking of Cork’s as a place to do business, making a specific reference to the city’s talent pool and supportive academic network.

US cyber security company Malwarebytes opened its new European headquarters in Cork in April 2016. Its founder Marcin Kleczynski highlights the fact that there were a number of international cities in contention, such as; London, Tallinn in Estonia, and a number of German cities.


So why do they choose Ireland?

Academic and industry cooperation: One of the reasons that Ireland has become a significant base for Cyber Security companies is due to its well-educated and flexible workforce. Ireland has one of the highest graduation rates in the mathematics, science and technology fields within the EU (Eurostat 2015). Ireland's Universities are very aware of the importance of Cyber Security in today's digitally-driven society.

The “collaboration culture” that exists here between industry leaders, research centres and academia enables Ireland to develop as a world-class Cyber Security practice and innovation hub. One example of this collaboration in action is the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA), which is a consortium of three Universities on the Atlantic coast of Ireland – NUI, Galway, the University of Limerick and University College Cork. At the heart of the Atlantic, University Alliance is its interaction with academia and industry, bridging the needs of industry with the expertise of University academics.

“This is a really supportive ecosystem. That has worked out well in terms of academic and industry collaboration.” - Ray O’Connor, IDA Ireland regional business development manager for the South-West.

eSentire, the Canadian cybersecurity company, has created an annual bursary for the Cork Institute of Technology. Trend Micro has developed internship programmes with several universities in the Munster region. These collaborations between industry and academia prepare industry-ready graduates for the sector. 

Tim Horgan, head of CIT’s department of computer science, recently described Cork as “fast becoming the information security capital of Ireland.”

EU Access: Ireland’s access to the EU allows companies based here to attract talent from all over Europe.

Cluster Effect: The presence of so many tech giants creates a ‘cluster effect,’ whereby a talent pool of employees exists. This talent pool attracts more companies, which in turn attracts more employees, and so the industry grows.

Corporate Tax/Pro Business: Ireland’s low corporate tax rate, its pro-business environment and the fact that its English speaking, makes it a favourable destination for a lot of companies.



How do companies find working in Ireland?

“There are so many great companies here: Trend Micro, FireEye, McAfee – even VMWare is a security company – but on top of that, there’s Apple and EMC/RSA, so there was a lot of talent to choose from, and the competition for such talent is a little bit less crowded than it was in Dublin. Cork is pretty much accessible, so all those factors contributed to our choice and we haven’t really looked back.”

- Marcin Kleczynski, Founder, Malwarebytes.

Trend Micro had a similar experience. “Cork has a very strong value proposition from a European perspective: availability of relevant skills in tech, languages, customer focus and management experience, plus links with education and the ecosystem of companies in the area. And then when you look at salaries and see how competitive they are compared to other European locations it becomes a question of ‘why not.” 

- Marianne Lee, HR director for Europe, Trend Micro.

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