Ireland should 'step up' to challenges posed by cyber threats in EU

Sean Duffy

Published 15/11/2016 | 11:42

Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Confrence in the RDS. (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Confrence in the RDS. (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Brian Honan, Pavel Gladyshev, Joseph Carson, Mary Aiken and Adrian Weckler at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Conference in the RDS.
Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Conference in the RDS. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Confrence in the RDS. (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Confrence in the RDS. (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Confrence in the RDS. (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

Ireland should use its role as a key technology hub to "step up" to the challenges posed by cyber threats within the EU, according to international cyber security expert Joseph Carson.

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Mr Carson also insisted that Ireland should get more involved with NATO's fight against cyber terrorism.

"Because of Ireland's role in technology over the years, Ireland can provide a lot of influence and leadership in this area. Also in the wider NATO perspective I think Ireland can get more involved when it comes to defence capabilities."

Ireland faces threats to its cyber security from external operators given its role as a key gateway for US and EU trade. 

Joseph Carson speaking at Dublin the Info Sec 2016 Confrence in the RDS. (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Joseph Carson speaking at Dublin the Info Sec 2016 Confrence in the RDS. (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

Mr Carson told the Info Sec Dublin conference that Ireland's position as a key location in the  international supply chain between the EU and the US made the country a strong target for forces who were intent on disrupting trade between the two trading areas. 

"Ireland is at risk of cyber attack because of its key Atlantic position," he told the Dublin conference. 

"The best defence is to decentralise. It's important to look at decentralisation to protect Ireland against a DDOS attack."

Mr Carson used the example of Estonia, a country which has been the forefront of migrating to a digital society. While the country made the rapid transformation to the digital society in the early years of the 21st century, the level of state information available online made the country vulnerable to attacks from outside agents.  

Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Conference in the RDS. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Joseph Carson speaking at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Conference in the RDS. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Mr Carson insisted that the best way to combat the threat of cyber attacks was to build digital alliances with foreign allies, which mitigates the chances of an individual country becoming compromised completely. 

He also said it was important to be careful of a response to an attack, saying sometimes the action "could cause more problems again". 

Mr Carson said that while cyber terrorists were unlikely to target Irish government bodies specifically, firms operating within the country were likely to come under attack in the coming years.

"Food supplies, fuel, utilities, medical services are all potentially at risk from major cyber war," he told the conference.