Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has announced that top US web security firm WhiteHat Security is to create 80 new jobs in Belfast.
The California-based firm provides web application security services to a blue-chip customer base that includes top e-commerce, financial services and healthcare companies. The new jobs will be created following the establishment of a Threat Research Centre (TRC), customer support and software engineering operation.
Arlene Foster said: “It is very welcome news that another leading ICT company has decided to locate in Northern Ireland.
“WhiteHat Security is a rapidly expanding company that is leading the field in the area of web security. The ICT sector is an important and growing cluster for Northern Ireland; and WhiteHat is a welcome addition to our important IT security sub sector.
“To support its further growth WhiteHat is setting up an operation in Belfast, which will recruit 50 security engineers, 20 software engineers and 10 customer support staff over the next three years. These 80 jobs will contribute almost £2 million in salaries annually to the economy and will create employment opportunities for graduates and experienced software engineers.
“The investment was secured by Invest Northern Ireland, which has worked for the past 24 months to promote the Northern Ireland proposition to WhiteHat and convince the company of the benefits of locating here. Those benefits include our cost-effective operating environment and pipeline of graduates.
“I had the pleasure of meeting WhiteHat’s CEO Jeremiah Grossman in San Francisco last June. The company was also influenced by other US investors such as Proof point and Puppet Labs, who shared their very positive experience of working in Northern Ireland.”
WhiteHat Security is the leader in application security, enabling businesses to protect critical data, ensure compliance, and manage risk. WhiteHat approaches application security through the eyes of the attacker.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Santa Clara, California, WhiteHat Security’s Sentinel service finds application vulnerabilities – in the source code all the way through to production – and helps businesses get them fixed, before the bad guys exploit them. WhiteHat Sentinel currently manages tens of thousands of websites for organizations in highly regulated industries, such as top e-commerce, financial services, and healthcare companies around the world.
Invest NI has offered the company an employment grant of £400,000. WhiteHat Security will also get £80,000 of support under the agency’s Skills Growth Programme to develop its Belfast team.
The Department for Employment and Learning has offered support of up to £240,000 under the Assured Skills Programme, towards pre-employment training costs.
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “I am pleased that the support my Department has offered, through the Assured Skills programme, has assisted in the creation of 80 new jobs. My Department will ensure that the organisation has the support necessary for training initiatives to develop the skills required for these new roles.
“In this very competitive market place, a highly skilled labour force is essential to support business growth and expansion. Northern Ireland continues to show that it has the talent and skills available to support business needs and this is evident in WhiteHat’s decision to locate in Belfast creating these new jobs. I am committed to working with our inward investors and local companies to help them meet their skills needs and achieve their business objectives.”
Jeremiah Grossman, interim CEO and founder of WhiteHat Security, said: “We considered a number of locations for our new Threat Research Centre (TRC) but determined that Belfast provided the right combination of talent and location that would help to serve our needs as well as the needs of our customers. Not only does the region afford us the opportunity to recruit high calibre graduates and professionals, Belfast’s excellent telecommunications infrastructure make Northern Ireland an ideal location for us.
“The new Belfast TRC is part of our strategy to continue to grow rapidly as more businesses around the world recognize the need for strong application security and risk management programs. This expansion will allow us to launch more services and related support in Europe and beyond. We are grateful for the support of Invest NI and the Department for Employment and Learning in this endeavour.”