The security of the State and its citizens is a matter of the highest priority for the Government, with cyber security posing a particular challenge due to its dynamic and cross cutting nature. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was formally established in 2011 and is a part of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and is the primary State body with responsibility for Cyber Security matters, including the operation of a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT). The CSIRT is the national incidence response unit, and deals with a large number of incidents each year, across Government and critical national infrastructure.
The NCSC is composed of highly skilled, specialist technical staff with skillsets across a range of cyber security related disciplines. In addition to the incident response roles, the NCSC also has a role around improving the resilience of critical national infrastructure and also acts as a conduit for information on cyber security matters to its constituent base. This information includes general cyber security information via the NCSC’s Alert & Advisory System, as well as very specific and targeted information, including threat intelligence, which is provided directly to entities. The NCSC also provides expert advice and analysis on cyber security issues and is involved in coordinating the response to significant incidents.
Intelligence sharing between An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and Critical National Infrastructure takes place on an ongoing basis, including via the Threat Sharing Group, which is a cross government forum for information exchange on cyber security and related matters. The NCSC also works very closely with international counterparts in identifying and managing any incidents or matters arising that pose a threat to the security of the State or infrastructure here, including by means of the exchange of threat intelligence information.