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Why a global cyber-security firm chose Cork over London for its European base

eSentire plans to hire 100 staff for its new Irish operation.
May 27th 2015, 3:30 PM 17,057 16

Updated 15.30

CANADIAN CYBER-SECURITY FIRM eSentire knocked back the opportunity to expand its London base in favour of setting up a new European headquarters in Cork.

“We evaluated several different locations when we were making our decisions,” company vice-president Eric Ritter told TheJournal.ie.

“What Cork and Ireland offered – most specifically Cork – was access to some tremendous talent.”

The fast-growing company, which in October took in CAD$14 million (€10.3 million at today’s rates) in investment, has tripled in size over the past three years and already had two offices in Canada, as well as operations in New York and London.

It plans to add 100 jobs to its Cork operation over the next five years with the first positions open for security analysts, with later jobs to come in development and customer service.

The company uses a combination of human input and technology to provide cyber-security services to primarily mid-sized firms.

Ritter said eSentire had already been in talks with UCC and the Cork Institute of Technology about supplying graduates with the skills needed to work in the field of cyber security and there was already a great “cluster” of IT businesses formed in the region.

I think London, for us, is a hub from a financial standpoint and we have been able to really engage well from our sales forces in that area. In Cork, we were looking at this like-minded cluster that wasn’t really there in London.”

A Cork cluster

Security software specialist McAfee, which now falls under the Intel brand after a 2011 buyout, set up operations at Cork in 2004, while other tech firms like Apple and EMC have offices in the region dating back to the 1980s.

Ritter said eSentire’s analysts were the key to its operations as they supplied the “grey matter” to assess the potentially crippling security alerts its systems flagged.

IDA CEO Martin Shanahan said the company was attracted to Cork due to the pool of workers with security skills available in the region.

The creation of up to 100 new jobs offers a great opportunity for talented software engineering graduates to join a rapidly expanding IT security business, focused on tackling the increasing threat of cyber-crime globally,” he said.

First published 10.28am

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Peter Bodkin

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