MTU launches project to address shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Ireland

01 Jun, 2021

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By Breda Graham, Echo Live

A collaborative project led by Munster Technological University (MTU) aimed at addressing the critical skills shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Ireland has been launched.

The Cyber Skills Project, led by MTU with academic partners including Technological University Dublin (TU-Dublin), University of Limerick, University College Dublin (UCD) and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative based in Virginia Tech in the US was launched live from the VE Studios Cork by project lead Professor Donna O’Shea.

At the launch, Chair of Cyber Security at MTU, Prof O’Shea, said: “In an increasingly complex threat landscape, cybersecurity professionals are a company’s best line of defence. Therefore, it is vital to work together as academic institutions with the aim of keeping ahead of cybercriminals in a fast-changing technological environment.”

Prof O’Shea highlighted that it is “essential” to develop innovative, cybersecurity, academic pathways that are focused on, and aligned to, industry needs.

She went on to announce the three academic pathways that have been developed with key industry leaders Dell Technologies and Mastercard which include certificates in Secure Network Operations, Secure Software Development and Secure Software Architecture.

Head of Information Security Architecture and Engineering Mastercard in Dublin, Mr Brendan Gormley, highlighted how “safety and security” are at the heart of everything they do.

“At Mastercard’s Dublin Tech Hub, we’re proud to help build and support the development of Irish students and experienced professionals in the cybersecurity and technology fields,” he said.

The pathways developed as part of the Cyber Skills project were identified in a recent Cyber Ireland Skills report as key areas where skills shortages existed.

Cyber Ireland Cluster Manager, Dr Eoin Byrne, emphasized that “there is no quick fix to addressing these skills shortages”, but a sustained long-term strategy is needed to develop homegrown cybersecurity talent in Ireland, which, he said, is the reason why the Cyber Skills project is so “important nationally”.

The Cyber Skills project is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through its Human Capital Initiative. The cyber skills project will continue to engage with other industries in ensuring that it continues to deliver industry-focused and research-informed cybersecurity skills.

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