The Irish Government has joined Microsoft’s Government Security Program (GSP) to protect the nation’s digital infrastructure against cyber-attacks. Ireland will be joining more than 45 countries who are participating in the program.
Cybercrime has increased significantly across the globe as a result of the pandemic, and Ireland has been no exception. In May 2021, the national health service was subject to a ransomware attack. More than 80% of the HSE’s IT Infrastructure was compromised, having a severe impact on the health service. It led to the shutdown of IT systems and widespread disruption & backlogs in hospitals. In a report (conducted by PwC) following the incident, it emerged that the hackers were able to get access to the HSE’s ‘frail’ systems eight weeks before the ransomware was detonated.
Ireland joining Microsoft’s GSP should help to protect and prevent similar attacks from happening in the future. The program gives Ireland controlled access to source code, the exchange of threat and early warning vulnerability information and the ability to engage with technical details about Microsoft’s products and services. Ireland will also get access to the company’s transparency centres, where GSP participants can visit to conduct deep levels of source code inspection and analysis.
Written by Michelle Young