Ireland is known for its source of strong cybersecurity talents but not quite known yet as a country leading in cybersecurity.
UCD’s Cybersecurity Research Colloquium brought together academics and industry experts to discuss their views on the current cybersecurity landscape and promote the good work that’s being done by the research community. Topics presented included 5G Networks, Big Data Analytics, Adversarial Threats, Optical Security, Digital Investigations, Governance, Privacy and Security, etc.
The skills gap is still an area of concern but it was heartening to hear that more efforts are in place to improve this. One such initiative is the Cyber Sleuth Science Lab, a virtual learning environment designed to introduce students to concepts and careers in Digital Forensic Science and Cybersecurity. Another such initiative is Cyber Ireland, a cluster supported by IDA Ireland to address talent, innovation, branding, international development and collaboration.
The general consensus was that more investments need to be poured into Cybersecurity research and development. Cross collaboration between industries is necessary to upskill talent and upscale investments. Addressing the shortage of talent within the industry starts with education – equipping teachers with new and improved modules that will educate and attract young emerging talents. Ireland is leading in the field of Artificial Intelligence with CeADAR, Ireland’s Centre for Applied AI, being selected by the EU as Ireland’s AI digital innovation hub. But it is not quite at the same level when it comes to Cybersecurity yet, as there is a lack of awareness at a state level when we compare it to peers such as the United Kingdom, United States or Singapore.
The existence of a national infrastructure such as a Cybersecurity Centre would improve the level of recognition that Ireland has, foster higher level of engagement but it is also important to identify the purpose of such infrastructure to serve a broader remit of Cybersecurity instead of focusing purely on Cybercrime. Ireland has a lot of potential with a significant number of security companies housing their headquarters here.
In conclusion, the research community is doing a lot of good work at an international level but perhaps it is now time to start promoting the work within the country. Think tanks play a critical role in shaping policy agenda but taking action at the ground level is how change eventually happens, when people get involved and start to recognise its importance is when society starts to evolve.
Dr Mathieu Sinn (IBM Research) - Manager - Cognitive Data Science IBM Research – Ireland, Mr Brendan Gormley (Mastercard) - Director Information Security Engineering, Mr Aidan Healy (DAC Beachcroft) - Legal Director, Ms Caitríona Heinl - Lead Strategist for Asia Pacific at EXEDEC, Dr Liliana Pasquale (UCD) - Lero Centre FI