The continued rise of Ireland as a digital hub makes it a natural choice for the biggest names in cybersecurity when seeking a location for their European operations. To tackle evolving global cyber challenges, multidisciplinary teams with a variety of perspectives are needed. Companies are tapping into Ireland’s skilled talent pool and scaling teams as security operation centers, international services, software engineering, trust and privacy, and global innovation labs.
In this turbulent world, Ireland’s geopolitically stable environment and pro-business policies really stand out as important considerations for future investors. Ireland is a committed member of the European Union (EU) and provides access to EU single markets from an English-speaking location.
Regulation can be an evolving challenge, particularly in the data-rich cybersecurity sector. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an important EU privacy regulation, and elements have been adopted in other countries worldwide using this pan-European framework as a base for their own privacy regulations. Companies who innovate through a GDPR lens and using security by design mechanisms can work to protect their valuable data and remain compliant internationally.
Supported by IDA Ireland, companies are innovating and building exciting new products with global reach from Ireland. Qualcomm has a state-of-the-art security lab in Cork, including a dedicated, world class team whose goal is to discover cybersecurity vulnerabilities during all stages of system-on-a-chip (SoC) development.
Multinationals are impressed by the sheer range of activities taking place across Ireland and not just in the capital city of Dublin. Ireland’s second largest city, Cork, has a strong cluster of cybersecurity companies with international services or global innovation teams, including leaders like McAfee, Sophos, SolarWinds, Trend Micro, and Forcepoint.
Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, is home to The National Centre for Security Research, where researchers collaborate on challenges such as artificial intelligence (AI) for security, edge-to-cloud security, and security analytics. The dynamic city is home to multinationals such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, who established there in 1971. Today, it is a multi-business campus with research & development (R&D), services, cloud, and engineering teams, and Galway is the company’s European hub for cybersecurity operations. With a multilingual and skilled talent pool, companies like Genesys, SAP, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, Cisco, and recent entrants like Poly and Diligent have found success scaling teams in Galway.
The cyber cluster is not just with large multinational companies, but also homegrown Irish companies, which makes for an exciting mix of skillsets and perspectives tackling global challenges. Groups like Cyber Ireland and IDA Ireland bring companies together to share learnings, training opportunities, and networking amongst peers.
A key takeaway from the 2022 RSA Conference is that the sector is constantly evolving, creating the need for ongoing training, and upskilling to remain competitive. Working with industry, agencies, and universities, Ireland has developed a robust cyber training initiative called Cyber Skills, a new $8 million government-funded project that delivers industry relevant skills to cross-train existing security personnel and attract new talent into the cybersecurity field. This involves career pathways and micro-credentials such as vulnerability analysis, computer forensics, penetration testing, and malware reverse engineering. This approach helps cyber companies in Ireland stay ahead of their cybersecurity skill needs, and build a pipeline of future talent to meet their growth ambitions.
International companies looking to explore Ireland can leverage opportunities such as financial incentives from the Irish government for innovation work, such as new product development and transformation. In addition, they can get assistance from IDA Ireland at every stage of their investment journey—from scouting locations to establishing and expanding operations.