Fianna Fáil has proposed the establishment of a specialised unit within the Army to prevent cyber-attacks targeting Ireland.

The party’s Spokesperson on Defence Seán Ó Fearghaíl has raised concerns about the increasing prevalence of cyber-attacks on governments and multinational companies, including the hacking of the US Central Command’s Twitter account and the bomb threat which stopped production in Intel in January.

“The nature of potential attacks against countries and governments continues to change with evolving technology.  Nowadays, our national security must involve the security of our cyberspace as well as of our borders and our communities,” said Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.

“The Government and State bodies store vast amounts of information and sensitive material in cyberspace.  Our economy and the security of our citizens could be put at risk if hackers or cyber criminals gained access to this information. We need robust cyber security systems that are constantly updated with evolving technologies.

“I am calling on the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney to examine the possibility of establishing a dedicated Cyber Defence Unit within our Defence Forces to protect Ireland’s cyber security at the highest possible level.  As a global hub for high-profile multi-national technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn we need to send out a strong message that Ireland remains a safe place to do business online.”