Friday 9 December 2016

Protecting banks from cyber war a priority for Government - Coveney

Published 04/10/2015 | 02:30

Coveney said he thinks cyber attacks are 'a potential threat', but that he doesn't think the country is 'necessarily facing an immediate threat'
Coveney said he thinks cyber attacks are 'a potential threat', but that he doesn't think the country is 'necessarily facing an immediate threat'

Safeguarding multinationals and banks from internet attacks is a priority for the Government, Defence Minister Simon Coveney has told the Sunday Independent.

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Coveney said he thinks cyber attacks are "a potential threat", but that he doesn't think the country is "necessarily facing an immediate threat".

"Ireland is in many ways an international trading platform for an awful lot of multinationals that are based on IT and software development here, and obviously managing social media platforms as well," he said.

"We have an obligation to work with the financial system and with those companies to make sure that Ireland is a safe place to do business - it's a priority I think.

"I think we have a very good cyber security national strategy that's just been signed off on, and that will remain a focus for us. But I don't think we should be responding in any kind of panicked or alarmist way. This is about putting infrastructure in place".

Coveney made his comments on the back of a warning earlier in the week from Central Bank deputy governor Cyril Roux, who said industry concerns about the next big financial shock coming from a succession of cyber attacks were "a welcome development as it means the risk is being considered before it materialises".

Roux said cyber security and cyber risk are "rapidly moving up the Central Bank's agenda. He was speaking to this newspaper ahead of the launch of a new start-up incubator focusing on the marine sector called 'The Entrepreneur Ship', based in the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) in Cork Harbour.

The minister said that as part of the Government's Capital Expenditure plan his department is working with the Department of Public Expenditure to finalise an investment programme for the project as part of the overall IMERC campus.

Firms involved in the incubator include Dare Technology, a company that is developing a 5kW portable marine wind turbine for use on commercial vessels during periods when the vessel is stationary in a port, or downtime.

Entrepreneur Ship manager Martin Wall said the project was "unique in that it's a dedicated space for both home-grown start-ups but also the overseas companies that come in from an FDI perspective."

"The other unique piece is that it is dedicated to maritime energy, it's the only one of its type in Ireland," he said.

Sunday Indo Business

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