InfoSecurity Ireland group plans to increase activity

12 Sep 2011

Group aims to promote Ireland as a centre of excellence in security.

The aim of the group is to promote Ireland as a centre of excellence for information security. ISI was founded two years ago by Daon, Vordel, Vigitrust, Norkom and NetFort. PixAlert joined earlier this year and now the group is scouting for additional members, having launched an updated version of its website.

The group believes it has a credible case; there are close to 50 indigenous companies working in the broad area of information security. Ireland is also home to major security multinationals carrying out high-level work, including McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro and Microsoft, in addition to more recent arrivals like Mycroft.

The country is also prominent at international law enforcement level, a point underlined last week by the first graduates of the Master’s degree in computer forensics and cyber crime investigation, a qualification exclusively for police officers. The course was originally developed by An Garda Siochana and managed by UCD’s Centre for Cybercrime Investigation.

Rounding out the picture, there is also an active research community form Queen’s University in Belfast via UCD and Trinity College to UCC and Waterford Institute of Technology. Many of these institutes are involved in EU seventh framework civil security research projects.

Supported by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, ISI is also looking to position itself as a rallying point for all of this activity in the security sector.

At a recent meeting held at Enterprise Ireland’s headquarters, the group agreed to hold a further networking event aimed at promoting closer connections between stakeholders in the sector, to share market insights and potentially leading to commercial opportunities.

Another part of ISI’s agenda is to forge links with the research community and find out ways of tapping into work being carried out there for potential commercialisation. At the meeting, delegates and ISI representatives agreed that the group should position itself as an exchange for co-operation between industry and research institutes.

The primary emphasis with this effort will be on research priorities – particularly around clustering – and secondly on curriculum development. ISI will also look to have representation, such as being part of industry review boards for third-level courses, to have a voice in developing course content. Queen’s University Belfast already uses this type of model.

ISI also plans to encourage the Government to adopt best practice in IT security, which will bolster the individual companies’ export activities and support the group’s wider agenda. The thinking is that, having a clearly defined national cyber-security strategy will help to enhance Ireland’s reputation in this sector.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic