National Cyber Security Centre (Ireland)

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National Cyber Security Centre
Irish: an Lárionad Náisiúnta Cibearshlándála
Logo of National Cyber Security Centre Ireland.gif
State Agency of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications overview
Formed2011 as CSIRT-IE
2013 as NCSC
2015 officially
Headquarters29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, D02 X285
Minister responsible
  • Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications
State Agency of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications executive
  • Richard Browne[1], Director

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is a government computer security organisation in Ireland, an operational arm of the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The NCSC was developed in 2013 and formally established by the Irish government in July 2015. It is responsible for Ireland's cyber security, with primary focus on securing government networks, protecting critical national infrastructure, and assisting businesses and citizens in protecting their own systems.[2] The NCSC incorporates the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE).

The NCSC is headquartered at 29/31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.[3]

Mandate and organisation

The mandate for the NCSC includes;

  • activities to reduce the vulnerability of critical systems and networks within the state to incidents and cyber-attacks;
  • effective response when such attacks occur;
  • responsibility for the protection of critical information infrastructure;
  • establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships with national and international partners.[2]

Threats identified to Ireland's critical infrastructure and government networks include: lone individuals, activist groups, criminal groups, terrorist groups, and nation states seeking to gather intelligence or to damage or degrade infrastructure. Incidents arising through extreme weather, human error and hardware or software failure also pose significant risks to individuals, businesses and public administration.[2][4]

Work relating to the National Cyber Security Centre, and any records associated with the security of ICT systems in the state and outside it, are exempt from being disclosed under freedom of information (FOI).[5]

Richard Browne was appointed as the NCSC's director in January 2022, having served as acting director for the previous 18 months.[1]

Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE)

The Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE) was established in late 2011 (prior to the official formation of the NCSC) within the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and includes secondees from other government agencies.[6] The main role of CSIRT-IE is to provide a 24/7 expert emergency response to computer security incidents across all public sector bodies, as well as providing advice to reduce threat exposure. CSIRT-IE engages in emergency planning with government agencies overseen by the Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) within the Department of Defence and the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, chaired by the Minister for Defence. CSIRT-IE shares information with the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA).[7]

Outlining the future core aspects of work of the NCSC, the government's National Cyber Security Strategy 2015-2017 states that the NCSC is to seek formal international accreditation for a Government CSIRT (g/CSIRT), expected in 2016, and accreditation will be sought for a formal National CSIRT (n/CSIRT), while also developing a capacity in the area of Industrial Control Systems and SCADA, which are used to run vital state networks such as electricity, water and telecommunications.[8][9]

Inter-departmental cooperation

The Defence Forces CIS Corps work closely with the NCSC

There is a strong culture of cooperation between the National Cyber Security Centre and the Irish Defence Forces in areas regarding technical skill sets, technical information sharing and exercise participation. Arrangements are due to be formalised by means of a Service Level Agreement with the Department of Defence, including a mechanism for the immediate sharing of technical expertise and information in the event of a major national cyber incident or emergency. The branch of the Irish military with responsibility for cyber defence is the Communications and Information Services Corps (CIS).[10]

The Garda Síochána, the national police service, is involved with the NCSC in a preventative and investigative capacity, with regards to national security and computer crime. Its liaison relationships with international security services is particularly helpful to the NCSC in identifying emerging threats and vulnerabilities, and establishing best practice preventative measures. There is to be a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Justice on this matter, and upcoming cyber legislation will support the work of the National Cyber Security Centre.[2]

There is also a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre for Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Investigation (CCI) at University College Dublin, Europe's leading centre for research and education in cybersecurity, cybercrime and digital forensics.[11][12]

See also

  • Communications & Information Services Corps (CIS)
  • Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation (GBFI)
  • Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau
  • Office of Emergency Planning (OEP)
  • Centre for Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Investigation (UCD CCI)
  • Computer emergency response team
  • National Cyber Security Centre (disambiguation) in other countries


  1. 1.0 1.1 "New Irish cyber chief appointed at salary of €185,720". Irish Independent. 27 January 2022. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "National Cyber Security Strategy 2015-2017". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  3. "National Cyber Security Centre". Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC). Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  4. Cullen, Adam (25 March 2015). "Cyber-crime gangs with global threat detected within Ireland". Irish Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  5. Wall, Martin; Duncan, Pamela (10 March 2014). "State 'vulnerable' to cyber attacks if security documents exposed, official said". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  6. "Cybercrime Network Conference (CyNC) 2013, Closing speech by Alan Shatter TD Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence". Dept of Justice and Equality. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  7. "National Cyber Security Strategy published". DCENR. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  8. Kennedy, John (3 July 2015). "Ireland gears up for cyber war – new strategy to protect critical infrastructure". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  9. "National Cyber Security Strategy 2015-2017". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Ireland. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  10. "Military 'can help stop cyber attacks'". Irish Examiner. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  11. "Centre for Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Investigation, University College Dublin". UCD. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  12. Smith, Gordon (28 January 2011). "Cyber security a safe bet for growth". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 

External links

[ ⚑ ] 53°19′56″N 6°15′19″W / 53.332197°N 6.255345°W / 53.332197; -6.255345