State spending on cybersecurity criticised as ‘paltry’

The Government has been forced to defend the level of spending on the cybersecurity agency leading the response to the ransomware attacks on the health service.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan said investment in the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) had trebled this year as this year’s funding of €5.1 million was criticised in the Dáil.

Figures compiled by The Irish Times show that such investment amounted to less than €14 million, not including payroll costs, over the past decade.

In the Dáil, Aontú TD Peadar Tóibín described the level of funding for the NCSC as “paltry” in the context of its responsibilities, while Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane said “we took our eye off the ball” on cybersecurity.

Mr Martin insisted funding had been “significantly increased” for the NCSC.