A LEADING UK cyber security expert has hailed Northern Ireland as an area boasting “world-class talent” and an “ideal location” for investment.
Tech Nation’s cyber lead Ollie Bone said the north’s expertise in the sector has not gone unnoticed with turnover from locally-based digital tech businesses now standing at a lofty £1.3 billion.
“The UK is an acknowledged leader in cyber security and many successful businesses – large and small – are headquartered here (Northern Ireland),” he said.
“There is world-class talent on offer and leading universities which make Northern Ireland the ideal location to continue building on Belfast’s cyber expertise and word renown.”
“In this year’s Tech Nation report, we found that turnover from digital tech businesses in Northern Ireland is currently £1.3bn, while the number of digital businesses stands at 1,600. These findings illustrate the strength of Northern Ireland’s digital economy including its growing cyber sector,” Mr Bone added.
The cyber security expert was speaking ahead of global tech conference Digital DNA, which takes place at St George’s Market in Belfast on June 18 and 19.
Up to 20 of the UK’s most promising startup cyber security companies will visit the city for the two-day event as part of Tech Nation’s new Cyber programme cohort. The scale-up programme, which includes Belfast-based firms SaltDNA and RepKnight, is part of an overall government strategy aimed at helping cyber companies grow products and services, as well as access international markets.
Joe Boyle, chief executive of SaltDNA believes it is indicative of the strength of the local cyber security scene that so many top firms will be in Belfast at once.
“This is an incredible opportunity not only for us to engage with our cohort partners, but also for the wider sector to come together to benefit from one another’s invaluable advice,” he said.
Simon Bailie, CEO of Digital DNA added:
“With a world-renowned cyber security hub at CSIT already in place, an impressive cluster of international firms and a range of startups, coupled with Queen’s University Belfast’s recent announcement that it will be offering 40 full scholarships to its specialist cyber security MSc programme, it is clear that Belfast’s cyber security scene is on an increasingly upward trajectory. We are delighted to host the Tech Nation Cyber cohort at this year’s Digital DNA event.”