For Written Answer on : 25/01/2022
Question Number(s): 175 Question Reference(s): 2280/22
Department: Environment, Climate and Communications
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
* To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the engagement of his Department to date with other Departments and stakeholders regarding the enhancement of the National Cyber Security Centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – David Stanton.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 25th January, 2022.
(688 Received on 12th January, 2022.)
Changed from ORAL to WRITTEN
The National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2024 is a whole-of-Government strategy to. The Strategy defines the role of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – situated in my Department – as being to support Government Departments and other public bodies to improve the resilience and security of their IT systems, to better protect services that people rely upon and their data. A key objective of the 2019 Strategy is the continued development of the NCSC. At the beginning of last year, external consultants were commissioned to conduct a Capacity Review and to benchmark the NCSC with similar agencies in Europe and internationally. Minister Ryan and I received the consultants’ report in June and in July the Government agreed a number of measures to support the continued development of the NCSC over the coming five years, including:
– Increasing the overall fulltime staffing complement of the NCSC to at least 70 over the next 5 years with a first tranche of an additional 20 staff recruited by end 2022 bringing the serving complement to 45.
– That the General Scheme of a Bill be prepared for Government approval, to establish the NCSC on a statutory basis and provide for related matters including clarity around its mandate.
– That the new role of Director of the NCSC be established at a salary level equivalent to that of Deputy Secretary in the Civil Service.
– That the future capital budget for the NCSC be informed by a 5-year NCSC technology strategy.
– The NCSC will be accommodated within the Department’s new Headquarters (HQ) in Beggars Bush.
– In addition to the creation of 20 new permanent posts in the NCSC, a cyber security graduate training programme will be initiated, with four computer science graduates recruited each year on contracts of a three year duration.
The Government agreed that the existing cross-Government group overseeing the implementation of the National Cyber Security Strategy 2019-2024, chaired by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications be tasked with developing an action plan for key elements of the capacity review, sponsoring implementation of the review, and reporting to the Minister/Government as necessary. In addition, my officials are in direct contact with relevant Departments and agencies including an Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces to progress key deliverables including the proposed legislation.