Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Public Accounts Committee

Mental Health Services - Financial Statements 2020

9:30 am

Mr. Paul Reid:

All of our systems have been restored so 100% of our previous systems that were up and running have been restored, including mental health systems. Since the cyberattack, we commissioned PwC to do a broad assessment of what happened, what our weaknesses were and what the recommendations were. Right now, we are in the process of overseeing those recommendations and bringing them to implementation through the Department and on through Government.

On the Deputy’s specific question regarding whether we have weaknesses, I would say that, most certainly in the current geopolitical environment, there are huge threats in the context of cyber. We are all well aware of that. The actions we have taken since the cyberattack have primarily been around security 24-7, increased access controls and increased authentication controls where people might have to type a double entry to access a system. There are some specific recommendations around the recruitment of, in particular, two key specialists. This is a role around a chief technology and transformation officer and a chief operations officer with a speciality in cyber. We have set out the process to recruit for those two roles. That will probably take some time. We have issued a tender for someone to come in and support us in that process in the meantime. We are just finalising that detail. In summary, it will be a significant recruitment of resources and strengthening of 24-7 monitoring, which we currently have place now and which was not in place previously. There will be a whole set of increased controls in governance and oversight. There is one particular recommendation around business resilience or, in our case, service resilience in terms of strengthening capacity to the best extent we can when something like this happens. However, it always remains a threat, particularly in the current environment.