Minister opens public consultation on national cyber security strategy

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton TD. (Source: Photocall Ireland)

Seeking a new framework to protect against hacking, cyber crime and espionage

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19 March 2019 | 0

Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, has opened public consultation on a new strategy to protect individuals, businesses and Ireland’s national security from cyber attack.

The new strategy, according to a statement, aims to determine how best to ensure the resilient, safe and secure operation of computer networks and associated infrastructure used by the State, Irish citizens and business. It will create a new framework to protect against the threats of hacking, cyber crime, crypto-jacking, hacktivism and cyber espionage.

“This is an issue of national importance. Today we are consulting on a new strategy which will see a stepping up of our capacity in this area,” Minister Bruton

The minister is encouraging interested parties to have their say on what a new National Cyber Security Strategy should look like.

“We have seen the risks that cyber-attacks can pose to a state’s security,” said the minister. “We must ensure that our hospitals, schools, personal data and state infrastructure are protected and that Ireland is not vulnerable to such threats. We also need to make sure that individuals and businesses have the necessary safeguards in place to protect themselves.”

“As a society, we have benefitted hugely from internet based technologies; however this reliance brings with it a number of new vulnerabilities and risks, each posing some challenging questions for Government and for society.  This is an issue of national importance. Today we are consulting on a new strategy which will see a stepping up of our capacity in this area.”

The consultation is expected to hear from the substantial information security industry in Ireland. With clusters in Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Galway, many of the next-generation, as well as industry veteran, companies have substantial footprints in here.

The minister said more than 6,000 people work in information security in this country and that “we are well placed to take further advantage of the fact that Ireland has become a home for so many data centric industries, and to build further opportunities for employment growth”.

The consultation process is now open, and includes 10 specific questions, seeking responses and ideas as to how the State can respond to the issues, both threats and opportunities, said the announcement on merrionstteeet.ie.

Any person or organisation can make a representation in relation to the draft Guidelines, which can be found online on the Department’s consultation page, and is open until Tuesday 19 March.

The statement says that interested parties have 30 working days to make their submission. These representations will be considered before the final version of the strategy is published and comes into operation. The draft National Cyber Security Strategy will be open for consultation until the 1 May 2019.

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