The Irish Government is to formally establish a national centre dedicated to the prevention of cyberattacks on digital networks and databases.
The National Cyber Security Centre will be an independent office, comparable to that of the Data Protection Commissioner. It will aim to reduce the vulnerability of major companies, digital service providers (DSPs), and government and utilities bodies to attack.
It will also lead the national response when cyberattacks do occur.
The centre is a response to the increased global threat of cyberattacks from hackers and other cyber-criminals, and was a central recommendation of 2015’s National Cyber Security Strategy.
The past 12 months have seen an ever-increasing number of cyberattacks taking place globally, often against high-profile targets. The last month has seen attacks levelled at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton in the US.
The centre’s establishment would greatly strengthen Ireland’s preparedness for such attacks.
It would also be an important first step in complying with a recently-adopted EU directive that sets out security obligations for DSPs and operators of essential services in member states.
Discussion is underway between the Department of Communications, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and University College Dublin about locating the centre on the latter’s campus.
Minister for Communications Denis Naughten is expected to formally propose the centre’s establishment in early September.
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