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 Gerard CraughwellGerard Craughwell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

There was a ransomware attack on the UK health system on 12 May 2017. It beggars belief that our health service was still operating with machines and software that were so out of date that they were an easy target. This brings me back to the point I have been trying to make all along, namely, that we do not do security seriously. The Minister of State outlined the various different agencies that are involved under the security umbrella. There are too many goddamn cooks. There must be a director of cybersecurity who has his or her staff placed in every Government agency. They should be reporting directly to him or her, not to the Secretary General of the Department or some principal officer in a Department, who might write a report at some stage which might finish up in the Department of the Taoiseach. There is a terribly lax attitude to security here.

The Minister of State said he engaged with the high-tech companies. I have met people from high-tech companies at various functions around town. They tell me they have been screaming for years about the state of security and cybersecurity in this country. I would like to have an audit, if we could, of the current state of all State agencies with respect to cybersecurity, including what steps they have taken to protect their own systems since the HSE was attacked and whether they reporting directly to the Minister of State so we know where we are on this. I am deeply concerned that with all the cooks who are involved in the organisation of security in this State, we will find ourselves attacked time and time again.


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