Peter Russell, Telefonica

SOC investment places Telefónica Tech at forefront of cyber security in Ireland

A future of hybrid work means companies have to be more resilient, says Telefónica Tech's Peter Russell
Peter Russell, Telefónica Tech

16 December 2021

Aside from the big, headline grabbing cyber security attacks that we’re probably all familiar with, there has been a marked increase in the number and frequency of attacks overall. It is a challenge for many organisations that simply cannot be ignored, and it’s therefore a topic that should be front of mind for all organisational leaders.

Having employees working from home in unprecedented numbers quickly became a gateway to new forms of data theft and at levels previously unseen. And whilst some workers have returned to offices, we know that the future of work is hybrid, and many will continue to work from home in some form.

In the age of digital transformation, IT and cyber resilience is the foundation of a company’s future viability. However, with the threat of cyber crime increasing across every sector, IT departments are being pushed to their limits.




The reality is that very few businesses have the internal bandwidth and expertise today to undertake 24/7 attack monitoring and protection themselves. Luckily, help is at hand. Outsourced Security Operations Centres (SOCs) help businesses achieve comprehensive cyber protection in the face of unprecedented demand. They can either work completely autonomously or hand-in-hand with the business’ existing IT department.

Telefónica Tech UK&I has significant expertise in cyber security. Indeed, we are doubling the size of our SOC in Ireland as part of a six-figure investment to expand our premises here.

An SOC is a facility that houses an information security team responsible for monitoring and analysing an organisation’s security on an ongoing basis. The security team are typically staffed with security analysts and engineers as well as managers who oversee security operations. The SOC team’s goal is to detect, analyse, and respond to cyber security incidents using a combination of technology solutions and a strong set of processes. Security operations centres are typically staffed with security analysts and engineers as well as managers who oversee security operations. SOC staff work closely with organisational incident response teams to ensure security issues are addressed quickly upon discovery.

The investment that Telefónica Tech UK&I is making in Belfast involves the acquisition of additional floor space at Catalyst’s Concourse 3 and will enable us to accommodate our growing headcount and offer our specialist cyber security services to a larger number of customers across the UK and Ireland.

Our enlarged SOC will provide services such as monitoring and analysis of clients’ IT systems to pre-empt and prevent security risks and attacks. The security operations centre is manned 24 hours per day, seven days per week, working for a wide range of clients including NHS Trusts and several housing associations. The team monitor and analyse activity on networks, servers, endpoints, databases, applications, websites, and other systems, looking for anomalous activity that could be indicative of a security incident or compromise

It is business critical that organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors secure, protect and monitor their IT systems to prevent breaches that could have very significant repercussions. That’s why this investment is so important, enabling us to expand our offering to a wider range of customers.

We have invested significantly in the SOC including in capital infrastructure, in our technology, and in our people to ensure we have an offering that meets the requirements of organisations with complex and sophisticated cyber security needs, such as in the health sector where we have market-leading expertise.

Telefonica Tech UK&I is delighted to support this investment which highlights the business’s commitment to investing on the island of Ireland and to continuing to grow our team and offering here. It will also provide extremely valuable services to clients as the threat of cyber attack continues to loom.

Peter Russell is managing director for Ireland at Telefónica Tech UK&I

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