With Brexit looming, call is made for an Anglo-Irish cybersecurity taskforce

4 Sep 2017

Image: Andrew Paul Deer/Shutterstock

When Brexit comes into effect, the island of Ireland could be left incredibly vulnerable from a cybersecurity and data protection perspective, warns the ICTTF president.

While Brexit has raised a lot of questions over a potential hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, infosec experts are warning that the discussions so far have been “light on detail regarding any implications or solutions for cybersecurity and data protection”.

Those are the words of Paul C Dwyer, president of the International Cyber Threat Task Force (ICTTF), who said to the The Irish Times that it is now crucial that both governments sit down, discuss and establish an Anglo-Irish taskforce on cybersecurity and data protection.

Dwyer said that the group would discuss the biggest data challenges that would arise from the new EU cyber legislation, and how it would then interact with the UK.

He also warned that businesses are quickly realising that when the deadline of April 2019 comes, the threat posed from a cybersecurity perspective is overwhelming.

“Many Irish and UK businesses don’t want to bet on the negotiations between the EU and the UK going well,” he said.

“The overwhelming array of sophisticated cyberattack techniques and the sheer amount of cyber-criminals, combined with a potential legal impotency post-Brexit, is a real concern for many businesses.”

A proposed model, he added, would look something like the ICTTF that he is a part of, which was formed seven years ago with 4,000 members to protect “children, individuals, small businesses, NGOs, enterprises and supporting the efforts of military and the global law-enforcement community”.

Elsewhere within the EU, a warning was issued last week (1 September) by Irish MEP Seán Kelly for a more rigorous EU cybersecurity strategy to prevent attacks on critical infrastructure, the commercial sector and governments.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic