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National Cyber Security Centre under-resourced and over-tasked - Darren O’Rourke TD

22 September, 2021 - by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Climate and Communications, Darren O’Rourke TD, today called for the National Cyber Security Centre to be immediately provided with the resources needed to combat the threat of cyberattacks.

Teachta O’Rourke’s comments came as members of the Oireachtas Communications Committee were provided with a partial copy of the capacity review into the NCSC.

The Meath East TD said:

“What is evident from this partial, redacted copy of the capacity review, is that the National Cyber Security Centre was not provided with the necessary funding, staffing or resources to meet the growing challenge of cyberattacks.

“The NCSC has been and still is under-resourced and over-tasked.

“The government has been caught asleep at the wheel when it comes to cybersecurity, and they need to acknowledge their failings in this area.

“This report also begs the question as to whether the recent cyberattack could have been prevented or mitigated had the NCSC been fully equipped.

“It’s beyond any doubt that more could have been done to better prepare for cyberattacks.

“A single headquarters for the NCSC and considerably more staffing are cited as key areas that need to now be addressed, in addition to underpinning legislation, a new strategy and taskforce.

“While I cautiously welcome the Minister’s commitment to this, the upcoming budget will tell if the government is serious about investing in cybersecurity.

“The damage from the cyberattack on HSE back in May was enormous, both in financial terms and on the provision of healthcare, and it’s imperative the government move now, albeit belatedly, to address the deficits identified.

“This cannot be another report that sits on a shelf and gathers dust. The government must move with urgency, as the potential damage further cyberattacks could have on other vital IT systems, such as the electricity grid or banking system would be disastrous.”

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