I thank Deputy McAuliffe for this timely question. The threat of attack by cyber criminals is increasing across the world. Ireland is recognised by the global cybersecurity index as one of the countries that are ranked highly in terms of our commitment to cybersecurity. Addressing the growing threat requires a combination of responses, including actions by the State, by individual organisations and by all of us, as citizens. While ensuring the security of the networks and information systems of organisations is a matter for each individual organisation, the National Cyber Security Centre, NCSC, plays an important role in this area.
The NCSC was established by Government decision with a broad remit across the cybersecurity of Government ICT and critical national infrastructure. It acts as a central contact point in the event of a Government-wide or nationwide cybersecurity incident affecting the State. The NCSC also co-ordinates and supports the response to significant incidents, with the lead role being taken by the entity affected by the incident.
Information sharing is a key component of the work of the NCSC, whereby it acts as a source of expert advice and guidance. The NCSC gathers threat intelligence data, trends and risks from national, global and local sources, and it then shares that information with the people and organisations who need those data to protect their own systems. It supports public bodies, operators of essential services and digital service providers to improve their cybersecurity posture and to fulfil their obligations under the European network and information security directive. The NCSC takes a very proactive role by supporting these organisations to build their cybersecurity resilience continually through a range of initiatives, including by publishing advisories based on the most recent threat intelligence and by hosting seminars and workshops.
Going forward, it is important that every organisation, public and private, continues to invest in strengthening its cybersecurity resilience. Recognising the need to evolve continually, a capacity review of the NCSC is being undertaken. The review, which is due to report shortly, will inform the future development of the NCSC and the extent of any additional resources required for the NCSC to continue to deliver on its important mandate.