Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Ransomware , Standards, Regulations & Compliance

Ireland to Strengthen NCSC Under Renewed Cyber Strategy

Lawmakers Propose a More Active Role for NCSC in Countering Ransomware
Ireland to Strengthen NCSC Under Renewed Cyber Strategy
Eamon Ryan, minister of environment, climate and communications and minister of transport, unveiled the National Cyber Security Strategy. (Image: Shutterstock)

The Irish government has proposed a number of measures to strengthen the country's top cyber agency's abilities to tackle ransomware and other cyberthreats.

See Also: Cybersecurity for the SMB: Steps to Improve Defenses on a Smaller Scale

The changes have been proposed under the renewed National Security Strategy 2019-2024, which lays out 18 new action plans intended to augment the National Cyber Security Center's capabilities.

The proposed measures include expanding the NCSC's legal and technical authority to detect and mitigate cyberthreats, setting up dedicated task forces within to tackle surging ransomware attacks, and defending against threats to the country's critical infrastructure.

The National Cyber Security Strategy, published in 2019, established a five-year plan to improve the security and resilience of government systems and critical national infrastructure across Ireland. Thursday's changes were introduced as part of the midterm review of the strategy conducted in May.

"Cybersecurity knows no boundaries and different parts of our economic and social ecosystems are as vulnerable," Eamon Ryan, member of Parliament and Ireland's minister of environment, climate and communications and minister of transport. "This midterm review expands the focus of the strategy to support a broader range of stakeholders and redouble our efforts to address the cyber skills gap."

The Irish government formulated the latest action plan after consulting publicly with industry experts, who identified multiple issues requiring immediate intervention. They include addressing the skill gap, supporting smaller enterprises and mitigating cyberthreats to critical infrastructure arising from supply chain attacks.

The new strategy seeks to address these concerns by allocating extra resources to the NCSC, which will expand its support to small businesses. The strategy also proposes conducting interagency risk assessments on critical infrastructure supply chain vendors.

The government hopes to enhance its relations with European Union agencies by improving its diplomatic ties with Brussels. The proposal includes appointing cyber attaches to key diplomatic missions and creating permanent Irish representation at EU meetings in Brussels.

The government intends to implement the recommendations through a dedicated council that will publish annual updates on the implementation of the strategy, to "ensure accountability and transparency."

About the Author

Akshaya Asokan

Akshaya Asokan

Senior Correspondent, ISMG

Asokan is a U.K.-based senior correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. She previously worked with IDG and other publications, reporting on developments in technology, minority rights and education.

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