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Cyber Security is on course to generate over £70m in salaries each year in Northern Ireland

The cyber security industry in Northern Ireland is on course to generate salaries of over £70 million each year employing almost 1,700 people.

This was revealed by Professor Máire O’Neill from Queen’s University Belfast during a major Cyber Security Summit in Belfast today (Wednesday 8 May).

Professor O’Neill also announced that CSIT research has been recognised by the international Journal of Information Security and Applications. The research, which looked at the safety and security analysis for cyber-physical systems, has been awarded the globally prestigious Dr KW Wong Annual Best Paper Award for its originality and impact.

The news comes as industry leaders, start-ups, SMEs, government policy makers and researchers from around the world have come together for the Centre for Secure Information Technologies’ (CSIT) at Queen’s 9th World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit.

Professor O’Neill commented: “This is an extremely exciting time for cyber security in Northern Ireland but also for the sector globally. There are significant economic benefits for the local economy, with estimated salaries now at around £70 million each year.

“At CSIT, our researchers are leading cutting-edge research in cyber security. We are also developing the next generation of industry leaders to meet the huge demand from industry for cyber security professionals.”

For researchers and technologists, the event will focus on ‘Secure Connected Intelligence’ in areas such as the Internet of Things, industrial control systems and supply chains. For the commercially minded, it represents an opportunity to learn from, and contribute to, the growth of new cyber security companies with global ambitions.

CSIT, which is the UK’s lead university centre for cyber security research, is based at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT).

The Centre is celebrating ten years of impact this year, and has also launched a new Cyber Range. The CSIT Cyber Range contains powerful capabilities to emulate real world network attack and defend scenarios thus allowing cyber security professionals to hone their knowledge and skills in a sandboxed environment.

The cutting-edge cyber centre has also today announced that First Derivatives | Kx Systems have been welcomed as a new CSIT Member company. CSIT works with many high profile industry partners to shape and direct its research agenda and accelerate the translation of innovation to the market so that it has strong commercial and societal impact.

The arrangement will allow First Derivatives to benefit from the Centre’s research knowledge and innovation and both parties will work together to further explore opportunities for its Kx technology in the cyber security industry globally. In addition, the partnership will develop first-class training around cyber awareness and resilience.

Mike Thomas, SVP of Cyber at First Derivatives, said: "Cyber security is a rapidly growing industry that impacts organizations of all shapes and sizes. CSIT is uniquely situated to bridge industry, education and government to produce world-class research and insights in cyber security. We are delighted to be a member of this pioneering institute."

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