Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney visited Smarttech247’s state-of-the-art facility at its headquarters in Cork yesterday and saw first-hand how the firm’s staff are at the cutting-edge of cyber-security.
He watched them analyse in real-time the emergence of global cyber-security threats and then moving quickly to protect their clients’ networks and data.
The team at the centre, which has been developed in a specially-built hub at the company’s offices at the Cork Airport Business Park, is capable of analysing millions of cyber security events every day.
They use the latest sophisticated technologies, including artificial intelligence, IBM’s Watson Supercomputer, which can in seconds, run millions of calculations that would take a team of people several weeks to assess, and Palo Alto Networks, to identify and tackle emerging threats on behalf of some of the world’s leading companies.
The company, which has operations in Dublin, London and Atlanta, has plans to expand its workforce this year with the creation of new roles in security monitoring, project management and data security.
Smarttech247 chief executive, Ronan Murphy, said cyber-security is one of the biggest issues facing companies today.
“There has been a 15-fold increase in the number of ransomware attacks since 2015,” Mr Murphy said.
“Cyber-security is rapidly becoming the biggest issue facing companies, with many having learned the hard way how breaches can irreparably damage their reputation.
“The technologies in our Security Operations Centre allow us to further close the gap and stay on top of the threats facing our customers.
“As an Irish company we are immensely proud of growing our business and attracting some of the best global talent to Cork.”
Mr Coveney hailed the development of the new hub as an important development in Cork’s positioning as a rapidly emerging cyber-security cluster.
“As an international player in the global IT sector, Smarttech247 helps its international client base to secure their networks, infrastructure and information,” he said.
“Smarttech247 is an excellent demonstration of the continuous evolution in Ireland’s enterprise base in terms of value-added services and the development of new sectors.”
Smarttech247 is a wholly-owned Irish company. Enterprise Ireland has provided the firm with R&D funding and other supports since 2012 to help drive its international growth.
Niall O’Donnellan, divisional manager of ICT and International Services with Enterprise Ireland, said the company is an example of an innovative Enterprise Ireland client company that is expanding internationally and creating employment domestically. He said the opening of its new security and operations centre was a response to the proven demand for cyber-security solutions.