Thursday, 12 May 2022
Department of Defence
31. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recommendations from the Commission on the Defence Forces report regarding cyber defence capabilities that his Department is considering for implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23720/22]
In terms of cyber security, at national level, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications has the lead role with inputs in the security domain from An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces.
The National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, is the primary authority responsible for cyber security in the State, including incident response, cyber resilience and information provision. While the primary role of the Defence Forces with regard to Cyber Security relates to the defence and security of its own networks and systems, the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces are committed to participating, under the leadership of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, in the delivery of measures to improve the Cyber Security of the State. This is being done in line with the Programme for Government commitment to implement the National Cyber Security Strategy, recognising the potential and important role of the Defence Forces.
Officials in my Department and members of the Defence Forces work closely with the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and other Government Departments and Agencies to support measures to deal with cyber challenges. A member of the Defence Forces is also currently seconded to the Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia. The Centre is involved in carrying out cyber-defence focused training awareness campaigns, workshops, and courses and developing and conducting cyber defence-focused exercises.
The Report of the Commission on the Defence Forces contains many detailed recommendations, including ones related to cyber defence, and there is a process underway to consider these recommendations. This includes inter-departmental consultation as appropriate. The intent is to revert to Government with a proposed response and a high-level action plan in advance of the summer recess. It would be inappropriate for me to pre-empt this deliberative process in advance of Government consideration.