Northern Ireland is the future of British cyber security - IT PRO

This article originally appeared in issue 29 of IT Pro 20/20, available here. To sign up to receive each new issue in your inbox, click here

Going by the UK government’s own messaging, alongside a wealth of studies and surveys, there seems to be a shortage of talented cyber security professionals in the UK. This has been depicted as a “crisis” in various reports. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) found in 2020 that half of businesses don’t have basic cyber security skills. Fortinet, meanwhile, found in April that 80% of data breaches were caused by a lack of cyber security skills, highlighting the potential consequences of not addressing the skills gap. But could it simply be the case that we’ve not been looking in the right places? 

Within the context of the wider UK tech ecosystem, Northern Ireland’s digital sector might not look so impressive on paper. In cyber security specifically, though, the country can boast a workforce of more than 2,000 people working across 100 different kinds of active cyber security businesses.

The region is also attracting a lot of global interest from some of the biggest names in technology, such as Microsoft, Deloitte and
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