Ireland is fast becoming an IT Security hub for Europe with companies focusing on R&D, threat research, security forums, and security operation centres activities/functions here. There has been a significant investment not only from large global security organisations, such as Mandiant, FireEye, and Symantec but also locally grown companies such as Daon, Espion, and Integrity 360. Some global companies have gone on to set up centres of excellence in Ireland. Zurich have set up their Cybersecurity Innovation Centre in Dublin. Microsoft have built and set up a major data centre with associated risk and security functions. MasterCard would have a R&D Centre with function on secure payments.
Apart from its low corporate tax rate, Ireland has one of the highest graduates and enrolment rates in maths, science and technology sectors. There is also a number of academic research bodies here helping to supply industry with informative studies: UCD: cybercrime and fraud analysis, LERO: software for analytics and security, and Insight: network analysis. For me personally, there is massive comfort and safety in numbers with the top 5 worldwide security software companies having considerably large operations here. However this is a double edged sword. The same companies both global and indigenous are fighting over a relatively small talent pool. In effect some roles are not being filled and are subsequently moved out of Ireland, while on the other hand salary levels are at their highest in years especially in the IT security sector. It would be uncommon, for instance, an IT Security Analyst with a degree and two years to command a base salary of €50,000 – €55,000.
In order for Ireland to continue to be a European and global force in attracting and retaining IT security organisations here, we need to address this supply and demand equation before it is too late.