CORK, Ireland - Monday marked the official launch of the Irish Cyber Security Cluster, Cyber Ireland.
The launch took place at Cork County Hall.
The Cyber Security cluster organisation, which is backed by IDA Ireland, brings together industry, academia and government to represent the needs of the sector and aims to enhance the innovation, growth and competitiveness of the companies and organisations in this nationwide cluster.
While the internet has fostered a tremendous degree of economic and societal growth, it has also introduced profound security risks. Every facet of society is now being targeted, and at every level, with reports of massive data breaches becoming commonplace and the increasing threats to undermine democratic processes. By 2021, the value of cybercrime damage is expected to hit $6 trillion (€4.85 trillion) annually according to Cybersecurity Ventures, a figure representing nearly 10 per cent of the world economy.
Similar international cyber security clusters have been established in the UK, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Israel.
Monday's launch event presented the Cluster Strategy and Cluster Board, made up of senior industry representatives from McAfee, Forcepoint, IBM, JRI America, HPE, Ward Solutions and Qualcomm, as well as academic institutes and research centres (Cork Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and University College Dublin) and government agencies (IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the National Cyber Security Centre).
"The launch of Cyber Ireland, Ireland's Cyber Security Cluster, is an important leap-forward for the industry in Ireland. This innovative collaboration between Government, industry and academia, will serve as a platform for the industry here to continue to grow and compete globally. I am confident that the establishment of this new cluster here in Cork and the presentation of the Cluster Board, will help to ensure that Ireland remains at the forefront of this fast-growing and strategically important sector," Ireland's Minister for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton said Monday.
Jacky Fox, Vice-Chair of the Cluster board added: "The cluster will work to ensure the country makes the most of the potential for new job creation and innovation by addressing key challenges around skills needs, enhancing research and innovation the development of a national community which connects industry, academia and government. The strength of the cluster will come from a joined up, national approach, as any one organisation or region is too small to compete internationally.
Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said: "This Cyber Security cluster will ensure that the country makes the most of the potential for new job creation and innovation by addressing key challenges around skills needs, enhancing research and innovation the development of a national community which connects industry, academia and government. The strength of the cluster will come from a collaborative, national approach, and IDA Ireland are very excited to be supporting this initiative."
Cyber Ireland has already engaged with over 90 companies, 15 academic organisations and 13 government agencies in the sector, through meetings and three cluster initiation workshops held in Cork, Galway and Dublin in February. These organisations now have the opportunity to register and become members of the cluster to benefit from the range of initiatives and activities being undertaken over the coming 12 months.
Cyber Ireland's vision is to make Ireland a global cyber security leader, regarding: 1) cyber security talent and skills, 2) developing cyber security solutions through Research & Innovation, 3) supporting the internationalisation of Irish SMEs and attracting FDI, and 4) becoming a digitally safe and secure location for businesses and citizens.
"Our mission is to bring together industry, academia and government to represent the needs of the Cyber Security industry in Ireland. We aim to enhance the innovation, growth and competitiveness of the companies and organisations which are part of the cluster," says the mission statement.