Further information needed on scale of NICS cyber-threats

South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron has said further information is needed to determine the full scale of the threat posed by cyber-attacks against the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

By Pam Cameron MLA

South Antrim

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Information revealed to Mrs Cameron in response to an Assembly Question highlighted that 80-100 million emails a month are blocked from entering the Civil Service network.

The DUP MLA said, "The Northern Ireland Civil Service is a large network and will inevitably be the target of many cyber-attacks. Different attacks will carry with them a different level of risk and the overall numbers may not therefore identify the true scale of the threat faced by the Civil Service network.

It would be important to ascertain any data in relation to different types of threat. For instance in terms of the emails quarantined, how many of these are phishing attempts or are attempts to send a virus into the network. Details on ransomware attempts and social engineering attacks would also help to identify the most serious cyber-attacks faced by the NICS network.

Overall it is vital that the Civil Service keeps a high alert against all forms of cyber-attacks. Given the importance of the network and the information that will be held on it, there is an obvious need to ensure the highest level of security."

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