Written answers

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Department of Defence

Internet Security

5:00 pm

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Question 41: To ask the Minister for Defence if he is satisfied that Ireland is properly prepared to withstand an attempt at cyber warfare or terrorism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42189/09]

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Minister, Department of Defence; Limerick East, Fianna Fail)
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Cyber security, cyber crime and internet security represent challenges that are constantly evolving and require vigilance and appropriate responses. Cyber security is multi facetted. The nature of the threat and the potential impact also varies considerably depending on the approach and objective of those with malicious intent. In the first instance, each State agency, business and individual should take every precaution with regard to their security. Awareness of security, the risks and available safeguards, can be seen as the first line of defence for the security of information systems and networks. I am aware of considerable activity in this regard. My colleague the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has undertaken a number of awareness campaigns aimed at individuals, SMEs , the education sector, the public Sector and business.

In addition, Minister Ryan has recently commissioned a report on Ireland's current state of readiness should a cyber attack occur. The report will also contain a review of current international best practice on cyber security and the structures that should be developed to oversee the Government's response to cyber attacks. This report will address the following issues from a national perspective: Detection of cyber attacks Reaction to cyber attacks from Government, Government agencies and operators of critical IT infrastructure Development of structure to oversee planning and response to cyber attacks Development of structures to keep the public aware of threats and appropriate responses.

I understand that consultation with industry and across Government in underway and that the Strategy should be finalised by the end of the year.

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