Nihon Cyber Defence appoints senior security professional Ally Burns and unveils expansion plans


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  • Nihon Cyber Defence (NCD), a Japanese leader in cyber security, has announced the appointment of a new head of incident response for its European operations.

    Tokyo-headquartered NCD provides robust, intelligence-driven cyber defence solutions, services and support to governments, businesses and public sector organisations to proactively identify and protect them from all forms of cyber-attack designed to cause financial, political or social disruption.

    Based in the company’s growing Belfast office, cyber security expert Ally Burns will have responsibility for leading the firm’s incident management capability in the UK and Europe, with a focus on the delivery of cyber security preparedness and resilience to clients in the private and public sectors.  

    Ally brings the experience of a more than 30-year career in law enforcement, the last decade of which was spent in the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) Cyber Crime Centre, where he was responsible for providing digital forensic services to the PSNI. As lead for PSNI Cyber he engaged with law enforcement and government agencies across the world and will use that experience to help clients create security architecture plans, roadmap strategies and response plans.

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    Nihon Cyber Defence also announced today that it plans for a relocation to new larger base in Belfast and also to open a new office in Dublin before the end of this year to service clients in Ireland and Europe. The announcement follows confirmation last month that NCD has opened a base in Manchester to complement its UK and European headquarters in Belfast.  Recent Home Office licencing approval also enables more skilled Japanese staff to relocate to Belfast to service the growing Japanese global corporate client base from Belfast. 

    In a significant step for the business in the UK and Europe, Nihon Cyber Defence has also partnered with BT to become its supplier of Incident Management Services to the Northern Ireland Civil Service through the Public Sector Shared Network contract, a strategic partnership between the NI public sector and BT.

    Cartan McLaughlin, Founder and CEO of Nihon Cyber Defence, said: “The appointment of Ally is the latest step in building an outstanding local leadership team in Belfast and strengthening NCD’s global incident management and response capability. The team’s expertise has been recognised in the awarding of recent new contracts to deliver incident management services to local UK government and new partnerships with major UK suppliers such as BT.

    “As we explore the further expansion of Nihon Cyber Defence I am also delighted to announce our intention to open a Dublin office later this year. We look forward to sharing details of this expansion in the coming months.”

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    NCD’s Managing Director for Europe, Dougie Grant, added: “Ally brings great knowledge from his time as the PSNI’s senior investigating officer for cyber dependent crime in Northern Ireland. His investigative experience has ranged from investigations originating on the dark net to those involving international organised crime groups deploying ransomware on local businesses, charities and academic institutions. Ally is a fantastic addition and asset to our senior team and will be managing our Belfast relocation and expanding Incident Management team.”

    Ally Burns, Head of Incident Response Management - Europe, said: “There has been an acceleration globally in the volume and variety of cyber-attacks facing all types of organisations, so there has never been a greater need for expert advice on how to identify and assess risks and to prevent and manage incidents. During my career I have gained extensive experience in leading investigations into business email compromise, ransomware, insider threat and network breaches and I am excited by the opportunity to draw on that experience with a dynamic and energised company like NCD.”

    Nihon Cyber’s businesses include Protective Services - preparing companies for increasing cyber threats through incident response planning, cyber risk assessment and resilience testing; Monitoring Services - security monitoring to identify imminent attacks; and Incident Management - managing the response, investigation and recovery from attacks to protect victims’ systems, data, regulatory responses and reputational impact.

    NCD in Belfast provides these proactive cyber services, network monitoring and incident management capabilities which enable organisations to prepare and respond to increasingly complex cyber risks and threats.

    Source: Written from press release 

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