American cybersecurity firm Rapid7 has opened a new office in the heart of Northern Ireland’s capital city.

The company, which is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, serves over 9,100 customers through 14 different offices around the world.  

Rapid7’s newest digs, located in Belfast’s Chichester House, can accommodate up to 400 employees. The company said the major expansion will create up to 150 new jobs and internships in customer support, engineering, and development.

New employees will have access to much more than a desk as the site includes a ground-floor cafe, a library, a games room and a trendy bar featuring exposed brickwork and criss-crossing strings of lights. Additionally, staff can make use of a maker space kitted out with Lego, 3D printers, and Raspberry Pis.

Rapid7 currently has around 250 employees in Belfast but plans to grow this figure to 400. To fill the internship positions and recruit the next generation of automation experts and security analysts, the cybersecurity firm is collaborating with local universities. 

The expansion, which was first announced in March 2020, was supported by economic development agency Invest NI. To support the creation of 30 new jobs, Invest NI made available to Rapid7 £165,000.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Rapid7’s employees are currently working from home. However, the new offices have been designed to meet government-issued guidelines regarding Covid-secure workplaces.

“We are committed to expanding our base within the Belfast cybersecurity hub, solidifying our position to help our European clients and to attract the best cybersecurity talent,” said Michael Keimig, global real estate senior manager at Rapid7.

“Our focus on providing a safe, comfortable and engaging workspace for our employees is a long-term goal of ours. We want this office to not only house our current employees, but also those we’ll be bringing on as part of future expansion in the region.

“As such, we intentionally designed the layout of the office to include enough space for 400 employees.”

Keimig added that the style of the new site had been chosen to blend in with Belfast’s existing vibe. 

“The mainstay in Rapid7’s office design is to create spaces that feel like an organic part of the city,” he said.

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