Government signs cybersecurity agreement with Microsoft

The government has joined Microsoft’s Government Security Program (GSP), which it said will help defend critical national infrastructure against cyberattacks.

Ireland’s participation in the program will enable controlled access to source code, the sharing of early warning threat and vulnerability information, and the ability to participate in sensitive technical content about Microsoft products and services.

“Microsoft products are widely used by public and private bodies. This new partnership between Microsoft and Ireland will be a key factor in protecting the digital infrastructure of the State from cyber threats,” said the Minister of State responsible for Communications, Electronic Administration and Economy Circle, Ossian. Smyth.

Countries and state agencies can join the Microsoft GSP free of charge once they meet a list of criteria that includes the ability to adequately protect intellectual property and confidential information.

Ireland joins more than 45 countries and international organizations represented by more than 90 agencies.

The director of the National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC), Dr. Richard Browne, recently visited Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

“Microsoft and the NCSC have worked closely together on a number of cybersecurity issues in recent years. Today’s announcement formalizes that cooperation,” said Dr. Browne.

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“Participation in the Microsoft Government Security Program provides another important resource NCSC can use to defend government and critical infrastructure from the persistent threat of cyberattacks,” he added.

In May last year, the Directorate of the Health Service was the victim of a major cyberattack that caused months of interruption and could end up costing 100 million euros.

An independent review of the attack by PwC found that HSE was operating on a fragile IT system and did not have adequate cyber expertise or resources.

The HSE recently said it was finding it “particularly difficult” to recruit cybersecurity staff due to competition for talent.

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