Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Defence, Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD has called on the Government to provide the necessary resources and legislative support to allow the Defence Forces develop a specialised unit to defend against the possibility of a cyber-attack on Government related services or multinational companies assets in Ireland. The call comes following the recent hacking of the US Central Command’s Twitter account and the bomb threat which stopped production in Intel in January.

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl explained: “Ireland is a central hub for digital start-ups, data collection and multinational IT companies. Our economy relies heavily on the security of our cyberspace and data centres both for Government services and for multinational companies. I believe we must consider creating a unit within the Defence Forces which can protect our country’s cyber security to the highest level. Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common and I believe it would be a prudent for Ireland to consider the establishment of this unit within our own Defence Force.

“Norway has already established a Norwegian Cyber Defence Force which is responsible for military communications and defensive and offensive cyberwarfare. We too should be protecting our national assets and security of the country in a similar way. As a country which has the EMEA HQ of Google, Facebook and LinkedIn amongst others, it would be in our interest to develop a similar specialist unit here.”