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US security services firm enters EMEA with Belfast office

Cygilant, the Boston, US-based provider of cyber security as-a-service to mid-sized organisations, has expanded into the European market with a new office and security operations centre (SOC) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The opening is part of the company’s recent strategic global growth and expansion, through automated tools and personalised security services advice. The Belfast office will help service the company’s 200-plus customers, with a specific focus on the finance, education, healthcare and retail industries.

The Belfast team will monitor customer networks for potential breaches and threats, and then work with each internal IT team to repair any issues before they become major problems. The company sells its services both direct and through the channel via service providers.

Rob Scott, president and chief executive officer at Cygilant, said: “When we decided to expand into the European market, we quickly realised there was no better place than Belfast. The city is full of great people who have an unbelievable work ethic.

“Belfast is also the sister city to Boston and is easily accessible within EMEA and from our home in Boston, so all the pieces just fit nicely together. We look forward to becoming a critical component of Belfast’s burgeoning innovation economy for years to come.”

Cygilant says it will tap into the area’s “incredibly skilled talent pool”, that is replenished with graduates from the city’s universities. With a physical presence in EMEA, Cygilant says it can continue to build and foster “best-of-breed partnerships” in Europe, while complying with GDPR regulations.

Cygilant recently announced a partnership with London’s Barac, which provides a platform for protecting organisations against malware hidden in encrypted traffic through AI metadata analysis. Ben Harrison, director of global security operations and Belfast site lead at Cygilant, said: “We have built the Belfast SOC from the ground up to establish a new world-class hub of cyber security expertise.

“Medium-sized businesses have limited resources, but experience the same or worse cyber security issues as larger organisations. With the addition of the Belfast office, Cygilant is a solution for those businesses that need affordable, yet reliable cyber security around the world.”

To assist with the expansion, Cygilant has been supported by Invest Northern Ireland, the regional business development agency, to help secure office space, foster local partnerships and increase local hiring efforts.

Located in the city centre of Belfast, the office currently employs 25 people in roles ranging from cyber security advisor to SOC engineer, and it is currently hiring more staff. The island of Ireland is home to a number of international cyber security companies on both sides of the border, located in Belfast, Dublin and Cork, including the likes of McAfee and BlackBerry.