National Cyber Security Centre Gets New Funding

July 21, 2021
Sarah Gormley

Security continues to be a large issue in any sector that uses technology, particularly the financial services sector. Hacking and money laundering are two of the greatest issues happening across the globe today. To prevent these issues, the Government has announced that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in Ireland will get a budget and staff boost in the following months. 

The package was announced by Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan and the Minister of State Ossian Smyth. They include that staff members at the NCSC will nearly double in the following 18 months as 20 more roles will be added to the previous 25 already working for the NCSC. In addition, the Director position is currently vacant, so a new Director will be assigned at the going rate of €184,000.

A major reason for their increased funding now is that the HSE and Department of Health were hit by a ransomware attack that paralysed the system and caused great problems across all of health services technology two months back. The NCSC played a great role in the response to the attack, but got major criticism for its lack of funding and that it did not have a director at the time of response.

The complete expansion of the NCSC will cost the exchequer almost €2.5 million next year. The Government is very aware of the increasing security issue as the world transitions into the digital age, so they are confident that this investment will be worthwhile. 

The NCSC is also going to be placed on a statutory basis, giving them set formal powers and a legal mandate, all of which will greatly improve their ability to provide security. The final addition will be a new cybersecurity graduate training program which allows four computer science graduates to join the program each year. These students will be on three-year contracts, guaranteeing they will stay at the firm.

The NCSC employers’ group Ibec is excited about this new funding: “We must safeguard our people, services, and businesses online by ensuring our national cybersecurity capabilities are adequately resourced, and that Ireland plays a strong role internationally in understanding and managing evolving cyber risks,” comments Head of Ibec Digital Economic Policy, Erik O’Donovan.

 

Reference: 

Goodbody, Will. “Cyber Security Centre to Get Budget and Staff Boost.” RTE.ie, RTÉ, 13 July 2021, www.rte.ie/news/business/2021/0713/1234843-cyber-security-centre-to-get-budget-and-staff-boost/. 

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