Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Justice and Equality
342. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which provision has been made to detect and prevent cyber-crime in the future; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30429/21]
As the Deputy may be aware, the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications has primary responsibility for cybersecurity, including the protection of Government data and networks, as well as critical national infrastructure.
My Department focuses on the potential and actual criminal use made of the internet and information technology. However, cyber security issues also pose risks for national security, whether from malign cyber-attacks on critical national infrastructure or in the context of the hostile-state hybrid threats. My Department is focused on the development and implementation of relevant legislation and ensuring that Ireland is meeting its international obligations in this regard.
The Deputy will also wish to note that An Garda Síochána has significantly stepped up its dedicated resources in the cybercrime area in recent years, and is continuing to grow its capabilities in this area. The Garda Commissioner established a dedicated Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) last summer, led by a Detective Chief Superintendent.
GNCCB is responsible for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime incidents in the State. GNCCB works collaboratively with local and national Garda units along with national and international stakeholders to reduce the threat and impact of cybercrime on individuals and organisations. As the Deputy will be aware, An Garda Síochána maintains strong international links and is liaising and co-operating with international law enforcement and security partners such as Interpol, Europol, the FBI and the UK’s National Crime Agency.
GNCCB is now in an expansion phase, with increases of nearly 80 additional staff planned between this year and 2022, with 25 of these already in place. I am advised that this expansion of GNCCB will include the recruitment of 20 civilian expert posts at engineer grade. Cyber Satellite Hubs have also recently been established in Cork, Galway, Mullingar and Wexford.
GNCCB’s IT capability is also increasing, with a new decryption suite procured earlier this year. This work is also resourced through a smaller expert team in the National Crime and Security Intelligence Service.