Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport

National Cyber Security Centre Review: Discussion

Photo of Darren O'RourkeDarren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Chairman and the Minister of State. The cyberattack on the HSE on 14 May had and has a very significant impact on services and this needs to be the fore of our thoughts when we discuss these matters and the implications for people engaging with health services. People were asking at the time how this happened, whether it could have been avoided and whether we could have been better prepared. On seeing the report before us, or the bit of it we have available to us, we can be left in absolutely no doubt that we could and should have been better prepared. The report finds that the NCSC is not fit for purpose, is under-resourced, over-tasked and its structural and legislative foundations are wholly inadequate. That is a very damning indictment. It states that the NCSC does not currently have the organisational design or capacity to achieve the objectives of the national cybersecurity strategy which was only published at the end of 2019. It states that the NCSC is under-resourced and over-tasked with regard to wider engagement with critical national infrastructure comprising in the region of 120 operators of essential services or digital service providers.

That raises very fundamental questions on the establishment and resourcing of the NCSC since its establishment. Does the Minister of State accept that previous governments have failed to adequately resource the NCSC?


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