Monday 20th May, 2019, marked the official launch of the Irish Cyber Security Cluster, Cyber Ireland, which took place at Cork County Hall and was officiated by Minister David Stanton. With over 150 representatives from industry, academia and government attending, coverage in national & international media, and lots of engagement on social media, the launch was a tremendous success in raising the profile of Ireland’s Cyber Security Cluster.
Meet Your Cluster Board The Cyber Ireland Cluster board, which is tasked with driving the establishment of the cluster organisation, was announced at the launch. The board are tasked with: representing the various cluster members, developing and implementing the cluster’s strategy, leading and managing a programme of actions for the four Working Groups, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the cluster organisation. In line with cluster development best practice internationally, the cluster board has been selected in the first instance, and will fulfil the role for the initiation period of 2 years.
We received over 80 nominations including many senior leaders from industry, both SMEs and MNCs. This made the process of choosing the board members extremely difficulty, while taking into account the criteria that were developed. IDA Ireland & the Cyber Ireland team at Cork Institute of Technology assessed these nominations and selected the board members incorporating the following criteria. That there would be:8 from Industry, to represent the value chain of cyber security companies, from suppliers of products & services, companies with internal cyber security operations and from various industry sectors3 from academia – covering universities, institutes of technology & research centres3 from government agenciesA regional representation from across IrelandThe regional make-up of the Cluster Board (below) highlights how the organisation aims to be a nationwide initiative, with representation from 2 national organisations, 4 from Dublin, 3 from Cork, and 1 from Galway, Limerick, Kerry, as well as an international representative from the USA.
Cluster Strategy & Actions
The Cyber Ireland Objectives and key Actions under the four working groups were presented at the Launch. The objectives of Cyber Ireland and the cluster activities are ambitious, so we will need the participation and support of the cyber security sector and working groups to achieve these and address the key challenges for the sector. The Cluster Strategy is currently being finalised by the board, once this is complete we will begin the various actions outlined under the four working areas. Over the coming months we will be engaging with the cluster membership and those who put themselves forward to be on the four working groups, and we envisage these actions kicking-off in August 2019.
Cluster Membership is Now Open!
To participate in the cluster working groups, activities or events, organisations will need to sign-up and become members. Membership of the cluster is free for the first year until May 2020. Membership of the cyber security cluster is open to:All companies and organisations (not individuals) which are deemed to provide or consume, cyber security products or services, or play an important role in Ireland’s cyber security sector, including education providers, research centers and government agencies. Organisations must have operations established in Ireland to become a member.You can become a member by downloading the Cluster Membership Application form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside of selecting the cluster board and developing the cluster strategy, we have been busy engaging with and promoting Ireland’s cyber security sector through attendance at conferences & events such as:
The 9th Annual World Cyber Security Summit at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, Belfast, on the 8th and 9th of May. Attendees also got to tour the CSIT labs and technology demos, which showcased the new CSIT Cyber Range. CSIT highlights the benefits of having a national R&D centre for cyber security. We also met with the Global EPIC Group, an international network of 27 regional ecosystems in cyber security and innovation.
The Cyber Security Transatlantic Policy Forum took place in Killarney, on the 10th of May. This one-day forum brought together government agencies, law enforcement, policy makers, academics and cyber industry leaders to share insights and discuss how best to protect people and business into the future, in terms of policy and technology. 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 cybercrime and cyber terrorism posed a unique problem for Ireland given the large number of US multinationals here.
The UCD Cybersecurity Research Colloquium highlighted on-going and emerging research in Cybersecurity. It covered a range of research topics including: AI-enabled cybersecurity, cryptography, cybercrime investigation, digital forensics, and hardware-related security, network security, privacy, trust, human behavior, policy, and security-by-design. The panel discussion highlighted the need for better promotion of Ireland’s cyber security R&D, which is spread across various institutions and research centres nationwide, and the need for a national cyber security research centre.
Talent & Skills
CSI Upcoming Courses & Workshops
The Cybersecurity Skills Initiative (CSI) is a direct response to the most consistent need of companies across all sectors and of all sizes – how to adequately protect their business in the face of the escalating cyber threat. Central to this need is the growing shortage of skilled cybersecurity personnel to protect against and respond to security breaches. There are a upcoming courses & awareness workshops available from CSI. For further information see: https://www.ictskillnet.ie/cyber-security-skills/
New Cyber Security Apprenticeship launched by FITThere is a global shortage of cyber security skills and this is reflected in the number of cyber security job openings in Ireland also. To address the many unfilled entry-level cyber security roles in Ireland Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT) is running a new Cyber Security Apprenticeship in Cork and Dublin commencing in May/June 2019. Apprentices will complete the apprenticeship programme which is two years in duration, to gain an Advanced Certificate in Cybersecurity at Level 6 in the National Framework of Qualifications.
The FIT Cybersecurity Apprenticeship is the third in a series that have been developed by FIT and delivered in partnership with Educating and Training Boards. The initial two in software development and network engineering are already up and running in Dublin and Cork and expanding rapidly. If you are an employer interested in tapping into this valuable skills pipeline and taking on an apprentice,contact:Cork – Laura O’Mahony: email@example.com Dublin – Regina Bracken: firstname.lastname@example.org