PwC’s Neil Redmond and Raksha Prabhu discuss the nature of Ireland’s cybersecurity sector and the opportunities it presents.
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The trends set to disrupt Ireland’s cybersecurity landscape

23 May 2024

PwC’s Neil Redmond and Raksha Prabhu discuss the ever-growing Irish cybersecurity industry and the trends moulding and reshaping the sector.

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Ireland’s cybersecurity landscape has experienced a healthy evolution, in line with the significant technological advancements altering IT and indeed the globe. 

Last year, CyberSecurity Ventures released a report indicating that by 2025, there will be 3.5m vacancies in the cybersecurity sector worldwide and as the demand for highly skilled professionals continues to affect the industry, trends such as upskilling and diversification on multiple levels, are dominating the conversation. 

By its very nature, cybersecurity innovation is comparable to a race that never really ends. The goal is to stay competitive, outpace your challengers, but don’t ever lose focus. 

As new technologies and potential vulnerabilities emerge, company focus and requirements can rapidly shift, so it is crucial that professionals within the cybersecurity field keep a close eye on how the industry is growing and the trends reshaping the sector. 

For PwC director and 20-year veteran of the industry Neil Redmond, the trajectory of Ireland’s growth within the cybersecurity field is an opportunity for institutions to diversify and grow their teams. 

Skills diversity

Cybersecurity is a broad area of expertise that requires employees to possess a laundry list of skills, such as a deep knowledge of operating systems, coding abilities, network security control and of course AI, among others. 

PwC currently has more than 62 cybersecurity professionals who operate across four distinct and crucial pillars – governance risk compliance, threat and vulnerability management, identity access management and data privacy. 

The industry reaps the benefits of technological advancement, with the skills required to stay on top of security risks and even just to stay ahead in a professional sense, greatly increasing. 

For PwC cybersecurity and privacy manager Raksha Prabhu, this theme of constant upskilling and reskilling is a crucial aspect of persevering against new threats and exposing cyber vulnerabilities. 

She noted companies like PwC should bridge any potential skills gap by encouraging team members to avail of educational opportunities, for example, by attending conferences, becoming certified, taking part in online courses and utilising on-site training. This, she said, is a significant aspect of how companies can create “leaders in the world of cybersecurity”. 

Staying up to date on matters of cybersecurity requires “real commitment towards continuous learning” and for Prabhu, it is not only an opportunity to rise to challenges and build your cybersecurity career, but also a reminder to “be focused and stay curious”. 

This was echoed by Redmond, who endorsed broad-scale diversity across the company in areas such as skillset, education and country of origin, citing team members from South Africa, India, Colombia, the UK, Ireland and wider Europe. 

“We are a fairly diverse team with different skillsets, ranging from people with a bachelor of engineering degree all the way through to people who have master’s degrees in cybersecurity and also a big spread of differences in terms of experience.” 

As hiring within cyber continues to recover from the recruitment freezes that were a result of the global pandemic and with the projected 3.5m cyber vacancies in mind, companies are looking to attract, motivate and retain top-tier professionals for the cybersecurity sector. 

In terms of the kind of personnel companies are seeking to recruit, Redmond explained, businesses like PwC are always on the lookout for people “who can work well with others and understand the complexity of cybersecurity”. 

The majority of technology companies are going to assume that the person they are interviewing or indeed the person they have hired possesses the technical skills to thrive. In addition to these talents, Redmond said the cybersecurity sector is always in need of people who can tackle complicated systems and problem solve in an articulate and client-focused manner, as well as someone who is looking to the future, both as an individual and as a representative of that company. 

These are the traits that will empower prospective candidates to stand out in comparison to those who do not have an inherent curiosity or desire to adapt or grow with the mass industry changes altering the world of cybersecurity. 

With all of the advancements and challenges, the realm of cybersecurity is diverse and highly nuanced at the moment. Redmond would urge those who possess natural skills, a desire to learn and those aiming to progress their careers, to consider joining companies with dynamic, fast-paced cybersecurity teams.

Find out how emerging tech trends are transforming tomorrow with our new podcast, Future Human: The Series. Listen now on Spotify, on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

Laura Varley
By Laura Varley

Laura Varley is a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic. She has a background in technology PR and journalism and is borderline obsessed with film and television, the theatre, Marvel and Mayo GAA. She is currently trying to learn how to knit.

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