We must fund better public-service cyber security

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Today has been billed by cyber experts as a kind of D-day for our hacked public service health system. Many experts fear there may be publication of vital private information on the dark web.

t has been a difficult 10 days for the Irish health authorities, already beleaguered by the 14-month-old Covid-19 crisis, and now suddenly facing something which descended like a thunderbolt.

It is too easy to be wise after the event. Yes, it was clear that Irish public sector cyber security was at best poor, and at worst borderline non-existent.

There have been many warnings that this was an accident waiting to happen. We have also now learned of the full extent of the parlous position of State institutions which had the name of being in charge of security against attacks from ruthless and amoral cyber criminals.

Lamentably, we have seen just how our public services do not have even a semblance of a ‘Plan B’ when computer systems fail to perform. The bewildering powerlessness of public sector staff and the dismay of citizens who depend upon their services must now be an urgent call to arms.

Recently we have seen the Irish banks rightly being called to book by the State authorities for their inadequate computer security and backup…