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Ireland at the forefront of cybersecurity investment

Tom Parsons of US cybersecurity firm Tenable on what it will take to grow Ireland into a centre of excellence in the area

Tom Parsons: “Ireland has become a hub for strategic-level activities including product development, security and threat research, and security-centric data science.”

Tom Parsons: “Ireland has become a hub for strategic-level activities including product development, security and threat research, and security-centric data science.”

 

There is a healthy and vibrant cybersecurity community in Ireland today, with many multinational cybersecurity companies investing here.

Tom Parsons, senior director of product management at US cybersecurity firm Tenable tells us what it will take to grow Ireland into a centre of excellence in this area.

“Many multinational cybersecurity companies are present in our major cities, from Dublin to Cork to Galway. Some have been here for many years, while others have just recently set up shop. Just last year, Tenable opened the doors to its international headquarters in Dublin.

“You could argue that the work being done here over the past two or three decades has changed. Some cybersecurity companies started with manufacturing capabilities and had a focus on back office. But recently, especially over the last five years, we’ve seen more cybersecurity players invest in full-stack capabilities. In that time, Ireland has become a hub for strategic-level activities including product development, security and threat research, and security-centric data science,” he says.

“Education, culture and the ability to attract diverse talent have been the backbone driving both the continued investment in cybersecurity and shifting focus to a full-stack model,” he adds.

Vulnerabilities

In terms of the types of cyber threats companies face in the coming years, Parsons says vulnerabilities will continue to be a major cyber risk.

“In the coming years, cyber threats will be driven by the continued adoption of new and emerging technologies such as cloud, virtualisation, mobile and the internet of things, or IoT. The world is embracing digital transformation at an unprecedented rate, yet cybersecurity practices have not kept pace, resulting in a widening Cyber Exposure gap that hackers will exploit to their advantage.

“While technologies such as machine learning and AI will help to an extent, they are not a silver bullet. The threat landscape is changing rapidly, but vulnerabilities will continue to be a major cyber risk.”

According to a recent report from Tenable, cyber criminals had a median seven-day head start against organisations to exploit vulnerabilities.

“Organisations must not get distracted by the industry buzzwords. At the end of the day, strong cybersecurity is rooted in the basics of understanding your network, identifying all of your assets and maintaining your systems. This starts with the adoption of Cyber Exposure, an emerging discipline for managing and measuring your modern attack surface to accurately understand and reduce cyber risk,” Parsons says.