Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (166)

Alan Kelly

Question:

166. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to protect his Department in the event of a malware attack or security risks as a result of the failure to upgrade computers from an operating system (details supplied) in his Department and the agencies under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44747/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy may be aware, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) in my Department has responsibility for the implementation of the Public Service ICT Strategy. The aim of this strategy is to provide a framework for the delivery of greater efficiencies in public service ICT delivery and administration.

In respect of my own Department, provisions are being made to upgrade all Microsoft Windows 7 personal computing devices to Microsoft Windows 10 and this project will be completed by the end of 2020. Microsoft Windows 7 extended support will be put in place for all the personal computers devices running Microsoft Windows 7 while this upgrade project is ongoing. These Windows 7 personal computing devices will continue to receive security updates and patches to protect against malware attack as part of this Microsoft Windows 7 extended support.

The position in respect of the bodies under the aegis of my Department is set out in the table below.

Organisation

Status in respect of this question

Office of Public Works

The OPW is currently migrating its desktop computers from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The project is almost 70% complete and should be largely complete by the end of 2019. Desktop computers in OPW are protected by Palo Alto TRAPS software agents that actively prevent malware from running.

State Laboratory

Microsoft will discontinue extended support of Windows 7 from 14th January 2020. By that time, all computers in the State Lab will be either upgraded to Windows 10 or, for specialist PC’s for which it is either not possible or not viable to upgrade to Windows 10, placed behind an existing firewall on a separate network segment. This segmentation is enforced by both a VLAN and a firewall and will remove access to the internet and also limit the computer’s ability to communicate with the other computers on other VLANs and network segments. Thereby isolating these machines from the State Lab network.

Public Appointments Service

98% of staff desktop PC’s in the Public Appointment Service have been upgraded to the latest version of the Microsoft operating system, Windows 10. All remaining PC’s running Windows 7 are scheduled to be upgraded by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman has no computers which run of this version of the operating system specified. All of its computers have been updated to the latest version of the operating system.

National Shared Service Office

Provisions are being made to upgrade all Microsoft Windows 7 personal computing devices to Microsoft Windows 10, this project will be completed by the end of 2020. Microsoft Windows 7 extended support will be put in place for all the Office’s personal computing devices running Microsoft Windows 7 while this upgrade project is ongoing. Therefore, the Office's Windows 7 personal computing devices will continue to receive security updates and patches to protect against malware attack.