Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Operations
42. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the cybersecurity incidence response team is exclusively comprised of Defence Forces personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30517/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 43 together.
As outlined in the Governments White Paper on Defence 2015, the issue of Cyber Security has very significant implications for governmental administration, for industry, for economic wellbeing and for the security and safety of citizens. Indeed Cyber Security is a standing item on the agenda of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, which I chair.
The response to cyber threats remains a whole-of-Government challenge, with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment taking the lead role, with inputs in the security domain from An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces. The Department of Defence and the Defence Forces are committed to participating, under the leadership of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, in the delivery of measures to improve the cyber security of the State.
Ireland’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is located in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment provides a range of cyber security services to owners of Government IT infrastructure and Critical National Infrastructure. The NCSC is also home to the national Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE), which acts as a national point of contact involving entities within Ireland, and as the point of contact for international discussions on issues of cyber security. The scope of CSIRT-IE's activities covers prevention, detection, response and mitigation services to Government Departments and State agencies and critical national infrastructure providers.
The Defence Forces provide seconded specialists to assist with the work of this team when resources allow. Also, as in any emergency/crisis situation, once the Defence systems are supported, the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces may provide additional support to the CSIRT-IE team in so far as resources allow.
Details regarding the specific establishment and composition of the Defence Forces Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) cannot be provided for operational and security reasons. In addition, I am informed by the military authorities that there is no external procurement for the Defence Forces Cyber Security Incident Response Team. From time to time the Defence Forces does go to the market for security related services.