Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Cyber Security Protocols
733. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is satisfied with the staffing deployment in the cybersecurity unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30520/19]
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is located within my Department, and is the primary cyber security authority in the State. The Centre has a number of roles, and is responsible for acting as a conduit for information to constituents, including operators of Critical National Infrastructure, Government Departments and Agencies. The Centre also provides expert advice and analysis on cyber security issues and is involved in coordinating the response to significant incidents. The Centre also acts as a central contact point in the event of a government or nation-wide cyber security incident affecting the State, and has a number of formal roles in the protection of Critical National Infrastructure, including those under the EU Network and Information Security Directive.
The NCSC is composed of highly skilled, specialist technical civilian staff, with skillsets in areas such as computer science, software engineering, malware analysis, information technology forensics, cryptography, software development, and cyber security compliance, as well as general cyber security skills. In terms of resources, additional funding has been secured for a substantial enlargement of the NCSC both in terms of personnel and additional technology in order to address the responsibilities placed upon the State by the Network and Information Security Directive which was transposed last year. The annual allocation of the National Cyber Security Centre in 2019 is now €4,000,000, and staffing levels have increased significantly in recent years. My Department is also finalising a new National Cyber Security Strategy, which will set out the measures that Government will take to meet future challenges in cyber security, both in terms of Government and critical national infrastructure.
734. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the cybersecurity protocols under the remit of his Department; if it has had a cybersecurity breach in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30582/19]
The Department applies the relevant cyber security protocols in its network, applications, data, operations, disaster recovery, business continuity and staff awareness through our Shared Service agreement with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The National Cyber Security Centre is part of my Department and has responsibility for the implementation of the Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive. My Department works closely with the NCSC on the department's own internal network security and implements its recommendations as appropriate.
The Department experienced a breach in 2018 involving ransomware, which was identified, isolated and removed.