Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (801)

Alan Kelly


801. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 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. [44735/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department is actively upgrading all of its (Windows) computer devices to Windows 10. This upgrade will be completed by Q2 2020.

Any devices not upgraded by the time Microsoft withdraws standard support for Windows 7, will use multiple layers of technology for protection including:

- The purchase of on-going Windows 7 support for the small number of devices using this operating system

- The use of firewalls to protect the Department's IT network

- The use of spam filters on all mail servers which are continuously updated several times per day and

- The use of anti-spyware and ant-imalware software on all devices on the Department’s network. These products are updated on a daily basis

In addition, my Department’s computer systems are independently certified to meet the ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Standard. My Department invests considerable resources to protect the information that it needs to support the wide range of activities that it carries out and has experienced and trained staff dedicated to the prevention/detection of and the response to any cybersecurity threats. My Department will also continue with its on-going training of staff in relation to the threats posed by malware, phishing attacks etc and on how to avoid these threats.