Professional services giant PwC is to hire 80 staff and expand its office space in Cork amid “exponential growth in demand” for cybersecurity protection services.
PwC Cork said it would employ the staff in the year ahead, bringing its headcount to 250 people by the end of 2019.
The firm said it is also expanding its Albert Quay office space by nearly 40% following its relocation in 2015 to what is known as Ireland’s smartest building.
Some of the jobs will be in all areas of service including assurance, tax, and advisory consulting.
Others will be in data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, GDPR, deals, risk management, financial services, and fund management.
Ger O’Mahoney, a senior partner at PwC Cork, said: “With the extent of data breaches and cyber attacks, we are also seeing exponential growth in demand for cybersecurity solutions to help protect clients’ businesses.”
Europol, the EU-wide police network, has warned the global impact of cybercrime has risen to €2.5 trillion, making it “more profitable than the global trade in marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined”.
A survey last year by British IT research firm Juniper found criminal data breaches will cost businesses a total of €7tn over the next five years, due to higher levels of internet connectivity and inadequate enterprise-wide security.
Mr O’Mahoney said the new jobs reflect the optimism among local business and multinationals in Cork.
“With a skyline of cranes, we are seeing great optimism in Cork both from indigenous and multinational companies. PwC Cork’s expansion plans reflect our ambitious growth strategy,” he said.
“The significant growth in our Cork practice reflects a very buoyant market where client demand is growing in all areas of business. In particular, we are seeing strong demand for tax and technology services as clients continue to develop their businesses for a modern digital economy.”
PwC Ireland managing partner Feargal O’Rourke said the firm had ambitious growth plans to continue to expand business in the Cork region.
“Despite international uncertainties, we continue to see clients in Cork invest in their businesses and we will continue to support their growth strategies in an unprecedented world of change,” he said.
The quality of talent available locally is also a major factor in the firm’s expansion plans, according to the firm’s partner for people in Cork, Declan Maunsell.
“Our people have the support to be the best they can be and become world-class business advisors,” Mr Maunsell said.