'A major policy issue' - Government invested €340m to tackle cyber crime, Justice Minister says

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan at the Secure Computing Forum cyber security conference at Dublin's RDS. Photo: Mark Condren

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA

thumbnail: Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan at the Secure Computing Forum cyber security conference at Dublin's RDS. Photo: Mark Condren
thumbnail: Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. 
Photo: Liam McBurney/PA
Ian Begley

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has admitted that the Government cannot deal with the threat of cyber-attacks on its own.

Speaking this morning at the Secure Computing Forum cyber security conference at Dublin's RDS, the Minister stressed that Ireland needs to stay ahead of the growing number of cyber-criminals.

“Cyber security is a major policy issue for government and any business,” he said.

“As our society becomes more digital and connected the risk of cyber-attacks becomes even greater.

Minister Charlie Flanagan who opened the Secure Computing Forum 2019 pictured with Michael O'Hora, Group Managing Director Data Solutions, Adrian Weckler Tech Editor INM, Cormac Bourke Editor Irish Independent and Sunday Independent Pic:Mark Condren

“We are increasingly seeing the need for multi-agency approaches to long standing problems.

"In short, cyber-crime is simply not an area that can be combated by State intervention alone.

“We need to work together publicly and privately. As an economic society we are active on a wide range of levels to ensure we can safety enjoy the benefits of the digital revolution.

“Both the Government and An Garda Siochana recognise the value of the crucial partnership of the cyber security industry in effectively policing cyber-crime.”

Minister Flanagan added that the Government has invested €340m to ensure that Ireland’s police service has access to modern and cutting-edge technologies.

“Plans are underway to expand on a national basis the garda national cyber-crime bureau by developing a range of regional locations across the country,” he said.

“The reality is that combating illegal, harmful and predatory use of the internet, as well as reaping the full benefits of the digital revolution, requires the broadest response at a national, EU and international level.”

Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon is among the keynote speakers at this year's cybersecurity and data protection conference Secure Computing Forum, a partnership between DataSolutions and Independent News & Media.

The conference brings together cyber and security experts from the technology and business communities to discuss how best to protect businesses and individuals.

Themes include the cyber-threat landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI), social engineering as well as the digital underworld while speakers will also look at the challenges of the future.

Other keynote speakers include John P Carlin, former assistant attorney general for the US Department of Justice National Security Division and Mustafa Al-Bassam, a former hacker, security adviser at Secure Trading and doctoral researcher at University College, London.

"Cybersecurity and data protection and management are becoming increasingly important issues for Irish businesses," said Karen Preston, sales director at Independent News & Media.

Michael O'Hara, group managing director at DataSolutions added: "Cybersecurity is an issue that remains at the top of the agenda for Irish businesses and we are very excited about the line-up of speakers for 2019."