Question: What the hell is going on in my country?
Response: The Security Industry in Ireland
I enjoy an international network of friends and colleagues from various industries around the world. The last week or so has been intriguing at best and embarrassing at worst. All the media surrounding the shambolic behaviour of politicians reorganising deck chairs on the titanic has resulted in me receiving pretty much identical emails from various sources around the world.
From Australia , India , North America you name it, the format is pretty similar, a link to an international news story about Ireland in relation to the political circus and a simple question….. is this true?
What are you meant to say? Yes? With your head low! or try and argue a case on behalf of selfish, incompetent, gobshites and end up turning native… isn’t that all they do?
I think it’s far better to be realistic and positive, so this blog entry is by way of a reply to all those that asked me “What the hell is going on in my country?”
Firstly, like most countries around the world there are economic challenges. I can’t speak for my country but I can speak with authority on the security industry in Ireland. In a recent seminar on Cyber Warfare hosted by Eircom, well over 100 industry leaders turned up in the heavy snow to hear and learn more about the risks and the commercial opportunities! By way of a positive note, I finished up with some words from JFK which I found were still very pertinent.
That event, started a chain reaction of positivity around the world which crystallised in the formation of the International Cyber Threat Task Force ICTTF www.icttf.org which now has members and chapters in the Middle East and India to name but a few.
I also mentioned, there was a €20 billion market in Europe open to Irish companies to provide specialist security services, not to mention the €30 billion market in the US this year.
So what are we doing about it? Well personally I am working with a number of industry groups including the IDA & EI to capitalise on this opportunity. Ireland is best places to go after a significant portion of this market. Geography is on our side, we are ideally located half way between the Middle East and North America , on the edge of Europe . We have a successful track record of attracting all the large ICT players in the world, I recently learned that the IDA are involved with nearly 160 International ICT Giants here i.e. Google etc
ICT? I hear you tutting? What about security specifically? Well what about some of success stores here, let’s look at some of our strengths?
Centre for Cybercrime UCD
Computer Security & Cryptography Group NUIM
Cork Constraint Computation Centre (4C)
Centre for Unified Computing UCC
Waterford Institute of Technology TSSG
Data Communications Security Laboratory
Financial Mathematics & Computational Research Cluster (UCD,DCU, NUIM)
Boole Centre for Research in Info rmatics
Let’s look at the first on the list, the Centre for Cybercrime in UCD. http://cci.ucd.ie/
I tip my hat to Joe Carthy (Director of UCD for Cybercrime Investigation) and his colleagues at UCD for creating what is arguably the world’s centre of excellence for computer crime education. Law enforcement from around the globe, come to study what is deemed the best and most relevant syllabus here.
Ireland also supplies some of the brightest and most experienced people for international cyber investigations with Interpol such as Paul Gillen and Michael Moran from the Garda Siochana.
Let’s look at the opportunity………..security services in the cloud are predicted to account for 12% of all security services by 2013 and there is a CAGR of nearly 25% forecasted. Can you name any other opportunity growing like this?
Now take a look around you, Ireland is full of very smart people (obviously very few in the Dail / parliament) and we need to dust off this blanket of depressive PR and spin, we must all feel like we are living in a bad soap opera waiting for the next incredulous twist and turn to be brought to us by the writers in the Dail. Fear will freeze you, do not be afraid to move forward!
We are in control! Take pride in the fact, that we are smart people, the light is still on, we still have the ability to seize opportunities and don’t be afraid to share success stories. Feed the positive atmosphere, be responsible for creating and fuelling the recovery. Post the success stories online!! You can use ICTTF.org As a nation we are quite shy about how good we are, believe me on the international stage people still believe in the Irish, we need to believe in ourselves and the rest will follow!
Sorry, I’m ranting on a little bit the passion or is it sheer frustration is starting to build. Look, I mentioned the words of JFK previously and although nearly 50 years old, those words are still very pertinent to today. Pass on the pride!!
Dublin , June 28, 1963
No nation, large or small, can be indifferent to the fate of others, near or far. Modern economics, weaponry and communications have made us all realize more than ever that we are one human family and this one planet is our home.
Some may say that all this means little to Ireland . In an age when "history moves with the tramp of earthquake feet"--in an age when a handful of men and nations have the power literally to devastate mankind--in an age when the needs of the developing nations are so staggering that even the richest lands often groan with the burden of assistance--in such an age, it may be asked, how can a nation as small as Ireland play much of a role on the world stage?
This is an extraordinary country. George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life: Other people, he said "see things and . . . say 'Why?' . . . But I dream things that never were-- and I say: 'Why not?'"
It is that quality of the Irish--that remarkable combination of hope, confidence and imagination--that is needed more than ever today. The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics, whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.