Buswells Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
Thursday, June 15th, 2023
Launch of Strategic Cybersecurity Skills Training Initiatives
Training Initiatives for Advanced Manufacturing in our National Cybersecurity Ecosystem – Autumn 2023 AMTCE
The Dectar team were delighted to attend the launch of a new cyber skills training programme initiative by the Louth & Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) taking place in the Advanced Manufacturing & Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE) in Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland. This initiative is the latest in a series of innovative training and skills development programs that the LMETB has been carrying out to help the people of Louth and Meath access training and support to prepare the workforce for Industry 4.0.
Guest speakers included Kairi Künka, the Estonian Ambassador to Ireland, Senator Gerard Craughwell, Minister Ossian Smyth, the Founder of the AMTCE Martin O’Brien, and the operations director Adrian Kelly. Dectar‘s CEO & co-Founder Stefan Uygur spoke about the need for nations to be cyber ready and demonstrated the ACSIA CRA (Cyber Risk Assessment) tool’s ability to assess the risk to a business from the hacker’s perspective.
The speakers covered a range of topics offering a uniquely optimistic message about how we can be proactive in Ireland, and across the globe, and work together to prevent cyber crime through education, skills development and government support. The creation of innovative training programmes and learning pathways led by industry experts should help businesses to focus their training efforts on upskilling their current workforce in a strategic way. The learning programmes of the AMTCE have been designed to suit a range of skills. from non technical teams to IT admins looking to upskill. Doing this program will allow businesses to take ownership of their business cyber defenses.
The AMTCE program offers businesses a range of courses and practical workshops that will give staff access to training, exposure to cutting edge tools and hands on experience with Operational Technology. We need to expand the cyber workforce and this can be achieved by supporting education not only through the universities but also on the job experience and skills support.
Senator Gerard Craughwell spoke about the work that is being done to create a cohesive cyber vision with an emphasis on training and skills development that can be supported and ran by government. The LMETB has created a programme to teach these essential skills and offer the people who need it, Irish employees in SMEs, access to the training and development needed to protect Irish companies.
“You don’t have to be highly skilled to be a cyber criminal. You just need to be lucky”
Senator Gerard Craughwell
Dectars’ CEO & Founder, Stefan Uygur spoke about the importance of seeing yourself through the eye of the enemy and the steps that can be taken to prepare the nation’s resiliency. The event, which took place in Dublin on Thursday the 15th of June, was the important first step in the AMTCE launching the cyber skills courses. These courses can be booked through the AMTCE with funding available for eligible employees. Visit www.amtce.ie
Martin O’Brien, the chief executive of the LMETB and the founder of the AMTCE, spoke of the need for ‘every organization to have a plan’ and the importance of teaching employees their role in business cyber security. The AMTCE will facilitate the teaching of the skills and training that companies need to develop their staff to enhance their ‘cyber IQ’.
Minister for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ossian Smyth spoke about the lessons that we can learn from Estonia where they have established the Estonia Center of Excellence. Minister Smyth spoke about his experience meeting with officials from the Estonian government in the aftermath of the Health Service Executives of Ireland (HSE) attack. In 2007 Estonia was one of the first countries to experience a large cyber attack on the state. The inspiration for the attack was political and began when a Soviet era statue the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn was relocated. This inspired a wide reaching series of attacks not only on the government and parliament but also on political parties, banks, news organizations and broadcasters. The attack temporarily crippled a nation state and should have served as a wake up call to countries, not only in Europe but across the globe, to the very real threat of cyber crime to everyday people’s lives.
Unfortunately for Ireland, as Minister Smyth pointed out, cyber attacks affect people of all backgrounds genders and ages, there is no typical victim. Innocent people have lost their entire life savings. A successful cyber attack can have, “real world effect” when it happens.
It is believed the attack, in 2021 on the HSE has cost the Irish state over 100 million euro. This cost estimate does not cover the damage caused, to the many patients whose information has been exposed, and the countless people whose healthcare or treatment was affected or disrupted. Minister Smyth stated the “method we have to fight this is education” and that “99% of the work to stop attacks is up to us”. In this same vein, he advocated for expanding the skills base and industry by recruiting more diverse people to train and work in the cyber industry.
Our CEO, Stefan Uygur spoke about the importance of “seeing yourself in the eyes of the enemy” and how cyber plays a key role in preparing the nation to be resilient in the face of the very real threat that is out there. It is critical to assess your public facing attack surface to manage risk. Stefan presented Dectar and Muscope’s new Cyber Risk Assessment tool, ACSIA CRA (Cyber Risk Assessment). This platform will be available to participants in the AMTCE program who will be provided with an initial CRA report that rates business cyber security posture and risk.
Adrian Kelly, spoke about how important cyber security is to the manufacturing industry and how this has inspired AMTCE to create this training programme. For companies involved in manufacturing, a cyber incident could result in a physical threat, people could get hurt. AMTCE will allow companies to learn about and access OT technology including from our partner Meptagon. The AMTCE program creates a learning pathway that anybody at any skill level can access and use to learn skills, this applies to all from entry level to more advanced security operations personnel.
Dectar is delighted to be joining a consortium of cyber security companies that are involved in the project including companies from a diverse range of training, IT and OT that will provide funded training in cyber skills for eligible employees in Ireland.
Training is key to preventing cyber attack and there is a real lack of people with the relevant skills needed to lead and carry out cyber security work. This is especially true when it comes to SMEs. Dectar and our partners in this project believe that collaboration across the cyber industry is needed to deal with the threat, not only to business, but also to the government and the general public. So many of our public services are dependent on digital technology.
Collaboration between industry, government and the public needs to happen to stop cyber crime from becoming the next pandemic. Unfortunately the reality is, that cyber security is an industry, a business, and companies in the space are doing what companies do. They create products, they keep what they are doing secret and they are not keen to collaborate and work together. The project that the LMETB is carrying out at the AMTCE center is a ground breaking pilot that can change the way the cyber industry works together. We are all on the same side. Sharing knowledge abut threats, how to fix them and how to fight off attackers is the only way forward.
Dectar is working with multiple cyber security companies on the AMTCE project. The project is being led by Colm Hyland and his team from our partners, CJHNetwork. Dectar has joined a consortium of companies that are working together to create a cyber security training program that aims to share cyber skills and technology with Irish employees.
At its heart cyber security is about people. With the majority of attacks caused by human error, educating the workforce, who are performing their jobs in a digital environment is key. People need to know how to stay safe online, this is critical to protecting not only individual companies but also the safety pf our environment and society. The AMTCE program is available free of cost to eligible employees based in Ireland.
Use the form below to find out more about Dectar and the AMTCE programmes.