Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (62, 87)

Tony McLoughlin


62. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps being taken to enhance cyber security particularly in view of the networks information systems directive which must be transposed by May 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7256/18]

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Noel Rock


87. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on the work to ensure adherence to the network information systems directive with particular reference to cyber security; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7251/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 62 and 87 together.

Cyber security is a critically important area for Government, business and citizens alike, having regard to the potential implications for the infrastructure that people and services rely on. Since the formation of the National Cyber Security Centre in my Department in 2011 and the publication of the National Cyber Security Strategy, my Department has been working on a series of measures to further protect critical national infrastructure in addition to the existing work of the National Cyber Security Centre.

Some of these measures flow from the European Union Directive on Network and Information Security, and will involve applying binding security requirements on a selection of key infrastructure providers and certain online service providers. My Department informed those infrastructure operators likely to be formally designated of their status in September 2017, and published the draft set of security requirements for these infrastructure operators for public consultation in November. These operators span a wide range of areas, including the energy, healthcare, transport, and telecommunications sectors.

In addition to critical national infrastructure, the Directive also requires that States apply a new regulatory regime to Digital Service Providers (DSPs). These will include cloud computing providers, search engines providers and providers of online market places. Critically, the State will have responsibility for dealing with the security of services provided across the European Union by multinational companies that have their European headquarters located in Ireland.

My Department is currently giving priority to the process of transposing this Directive into national law in advance of the transposition deadline of May 2018.  I have asked my officials to arrange for the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action & Environment to have an opportunity to examine the draft legislation when it has been finalised.