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Cyber Ireland, the leading national cyber security cluster organisation, has launched a comprehensive strategy aimed at driving the growth of Ireland’s cyber security sector by 2030. With a proven track record since its establishment in 2019, Cyber Ireland has evolved into a national representative body, uniting over 160 member organisations, including start-ups, SMEs, multinational corporations, and educational institutions.

 

Originally conceived to address cyber security skills shortage as an initiative at Munster Technological University, Cyber Ireland has grown into a recognised industry force, hosting activities across four strategic workstreams and also responsible for organising the annual Cyber Ireland National Conference (CINC), the premier cyber security conference which attracts leading cyber security experts from across Ireland and the globe.

 

According to the State of the Cyber Security Sector 2022 report the cyber security sector in Ireland employs over 7,300 professionals working across nearly 500 companies contributing €1.1 billion annually to the economy. Ireland requires a strong domestic cyber security sector with companies of scale that can deliver high value services to provide cyber resilience for the country and compete internationally. This can build on existing strengths as the island of Ireland grows into an international hub in Europe for cyber security multinational operations and further increase FDI in cybersecurity.

 

There has been strong demand for cyber security skills over the past four years with a trebling of job roles advertised between 2019 and 2022, from 2,000 jobs advertised to 6,700 open roles. On a growth trajectory of 10%, the sector anticipates the creation of 10,000 additional jobs by 2030, totalling 17,000 in the sector, contributing €2.5 billion per annum to the economy. How this demand is met given the existing skills shortages and skills gaps will be central in making Ireland a leader for cyber security talent globally.

 

Pat Larkin, Chairperson of Cyber Ireland and President, Ekco Security, said, “There is an incredible opportunity in front of us. Analysts quantify the current Cyber Security market opportunity in or around 200-250BN USD with a 15% growth rate. A recent consultancy report estimates that the current vended market spend may be 10 times under penetrated and thus the addressable market may be between 1.5 and 2 trillion USD.”

 

“No matter how you look at it, we cannot capture or service even a small percentage of that addressable market currently as individual entities. By working together as an industry sector we have a massive opportunity to capture a greater share of this market from Ireland, through Cyber Ireland,” Larkin added.

 

Kevin Buckley of Enterprise Ireland, said, “As a key supporter of Cyber Ireland, Enterprise Ireland is delighted to see the launch of this ambitious plan to grow employment and investment in this critical sector. Ireland is building a global reputation for innovation in cyber security and Enterprise Ireland is committed to assisting established companies and start-ups in this sector to realise their global ambitions.”

 

Eoin Byrne, Cluster Manager Cyber Ireland, said, “We have established the cyber security cluster as the representative body and coordinator of industry in Ireland, and are now recognised in Europe with our Cluster Management Excellence Award. We have quantified for the first time the size, scale and contribution that the cyber security sector makes to Ireland inc. and its potential for growth. 

 

We now need to take Cyber Ireland, and the cyber security sector, to the next level by working with the wider ecosystem across industry, government, academia, training providers, research, investors and industry associations to drive business growth and position Ireland as a global leader,” Byrne said.

 

The opportunity now exists for Ireland to capitalise on its cyber security strengths and competitive advantages to develop a leading cyber security sector in Europe, and globally, providing resilience domestically and competing internationally. Cyber Ireland aims to be the driving force to deliver on Ireland’s cyber potential through the implementation of its new cluster strategy 2024 – 2027. The new strategy has four Focus Areas across Building the Community, Driving Business Growth, Developing the Workforce, and Advocacy and Promotion.

 

The cluster has recently been accredited with the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI) Bronze Label for “Striving for Cluster Excellence” by improving its management capabilities and performance levels. Cyber Ireland joins over 1,000 cluster organisations from 45 countries that have been benchmarked and received the award. The recognition will create additional opportunities for the cluster to promote the sector and engage with European organisations and clusters, and secure European funding.

 

 


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