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’ 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, while estimates of economic damages ranges from $375 billion to $575.

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.

The new Cyber Centre provides clients with a range of services, including professional 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.”