PwC Ireland launches Cyber Centre to help clients battle digital intrusion

31 October 2016 Consultancy.uk

The Irish network member of PwC has launched a new Cyber Centre, focused on supporting clients meet their cyber security needs. The new centre deploys ‘ethical’ white hat hackers as well as forensic services to investigate defences and instances of penetration.

Cyber security has become an increasingly intractable problem for companies across the globe. Cyber criminals are leveraging a range of techniques, from botnets using Internet of Things devices, to phishing and ransomware, to disrupt and extract value from companies. The number of daily attacks continues to grow, hitting 500,000 per day last year, with estimates of economic damages ranging from $375 billion to $575 billion per year.

Consulting firms, eager to support clients mitigate risks and defend their borders, have begun buying up key cyber security expertise as well as drives to pick up and train experts in the field. PwC too has been active in the space, building capacity across its UK operation through the addition of 1,000 experts to Risk Assurance team by 2020. In a move to further bolster the firm’s capabilities in Ireland, the firm announced the launch of a new Cyber Centre at their Dublin base.

PwC Ireland launches Cyber Centre to support clients as problem grows

The new Cyber Centre provides clients with a range of services, including professional white hat ethical hackers, whose job it is to test the defences of clients and develop a way of infiltrating their systems – highlighting potential vulnerabilities that can thereafter, be patched.

PwC's Ireland's Cyber Centre leader, Pat Moran, comments, "Our Cyber Centre is a dedicated centre of excellence for all things cyber. On forensics, when a breach happens, we identify how the fraud happened, which is generally via emails and unauthorised access to data files."

The new technology hub will also enable clients to play the firm's ‘Game of Threats’ – a serious game the Big Four launched earlier this year aimed at building cyber awareness across management ranks. "Through Game of Threats we can simulate a cyber attack to help companies understand the speed and complexity of a real-world cyber breach and help businesses better understand how to resource and protect companies against cyber attacks.”

PwC Ireland is also home to a dedicated FinTech blockchain team, with up to 55 experts by the end of the year. Rival Deloitte in the summer of 2016 opened a Cyber Intelligence Centre in The Hague, the Netherlands.

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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”