“Irish businesses cannot afford the risk of a major cyber hack, and it’s time the Government got on with the job of supporting businesses to protect themselves,” said Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Billy Kelleher TD.

Deputy Kelleher issued the warning as both the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre and the US’s FBI issued a joint statement warning about ‘malicious cyber activity’ by Russia.

“Irish businesses are at risk. Some politicians and commentators may like to fool themselves that no one will bother with Ireland or Irish businesses, but the nefarious activities of Russia are not limited to the United States, France or the United Kingdom.

“Across the globe, governments and national security services are moving beyond letting companies and organisations know about potential cyber threats and are now actively issuing clear indicators as to what to look for and how to address the problems.

“The UK’ National Cyber Security Centre has facilitated a number of briefings with 130 public sector and private bodies to ensure that everyone is up to speed on what is happening in the field of cyber protection.

“What is the National Cyber Security Centre offering to Irish organisations and private companies to enable them be protected?

“There will be a general election in this country in the next 18-24 months. We have seen the impact of Russian attempts at interference in electoral processes across the world. We cannot allow that to happen in Ireland. The Irish people need to know that when they cast their votes that it will be their votes and their votes alone, that will decide the outcome of any and all Irish elections.

“We have many global tech companies headquartered here in Ireland. A cyber-attack on them could have major repercussions for the Irish economy and Irish jobs.

“I want to hear from the Government what they are advising companies and organisations to do; what support they are offering, and if they will provide the resources needed to protect the Irish economy from nefarious cyber-attacks,” concluded Kelleher.