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Japan’s Nihon Cyber Defence to open Belfast office

13 Sep 2021

The company’s Northern Ireland-born CEO has described the move, which will create 10 jobs, as a ‘long-term ambition’.

Japanese cybersecurity company Nihon Cyber Defence is opening a Belfast office and launching its services in the UK and Ireland.

The Tokyo-based company provides a range of security-related services to public and private sector organisations, including incidence response planning, risk assessment, resilience testing, monitoring and incident management.

The Belfast office will focus in particular on the legal, accounting and critical infrastructure sectors, and will initially hire 10 people over the first year.

The CEO of Nihon Cyber Defence, Cartan McLaughlin, is originally from Northern Ireland and studied at Queen’s University Belfast. He has worked in the tech sector in Japan for more than 25 years.

The company has previously offered placements in its offices around the world to cybersecurity master’s students in Belfast. It said it now plans to develop this talent pipeline further with the new Northern Ireland base.

Nihon Cyber Defence is adding two new senior managers to its team. Prof Ciaran Martin, formerly the CEO of the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and currently teaching at the University of Oxford, will join the company’s board in Tokyo.

Dougie Grant will take charge in Belfast as the company’s managing director for the EMEA region. Grant also previously served in the NCSC and worked with the Police Service of Northern Ireland to develop its cyber capabilities.

“The launch of the Belfast office of Nihon Cyber Defence has always been our long-term ambition and it’s exciting to see this taking shape with the appointment of an outstanding local management team,” McLaughlin said.

“With this experienced and capable team we will be able to build a safe and secure environment for our local and national businesses and industry. Belfast joins our head office in Tokyo and will lead the company’s global incident management and response capability.”

Grant added: “It’s fantastic to be back in Belfast after delivering the national response to cyber threats and attacks in the National Cyber Security Centre.

“Being based in Belfast ensures we can recruit talent locally, developing the local partnerships and support industry and infrastructure across Northern Ireland.”

Jack Kennedy
By Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin, coming from a background in computer and electronic engineering. He currently serves as the editor of Trinity News, Ireland’s oldest student newspaper. He’s interested in international relations and has strong feelings about baseball.

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