An Cosantóir

February 2018

An Cosantóir the official magazine of the Irish Defence Forces and Reserve Defence Forces.

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Page 17 of 39

An Cosantóir February 2018 18 | I n January the media announced there may be critical vulnerabilities on computing devices across the world. Despite this bleak news there is, actu- ally, much we can do to be proactive and lessen threats. Before addressing this, let's look at the background to this rapidly changing problem. Cybersecurity is an issue that blurs the boundary between what is considered 'military' and 'non-military'. This is a real test for NATO and its Partnership for Peace (PfP), of which Ireland is a key member. NATO has traditionally referred to cyber defence rather than cybersecurity. It was not until the PfP Consortium/NATO Cyber- security Curriculum in November 2016 that NATO began referring to cybersecurity as a concept that moves beyond the exclusively military environment toward the holistic security of NATO partner nations. In Ireland, the 2015 White Paper on Defence correctly points to emerging security challenges that are more diverse and less predictable. They comprise a broader concept of national se- curity involving state and non-state actors. These include climate change, transnational organised crime, terrorism, energy secu- rity, forced migration, and challenges to cybersecurity, technology and cyberspace - the environment in which communication within computer networks occur. Computer networks increasingly not only include traditional computers with keyboards and monitors but also nearly every aspect of civilian and military life. Cybersecurity is the protection of our personal, organisational, and govern- mental information from unauthorised access and control. At a personal level it's about protecting our own information, for example email or financial records, from theft or ransom. Cybersecurity is essential for keeping intellectual property safe from espionage, which is of critical national importance to Ireland as we have many companies investing in the very latest R&D. Cybersecurity is key to securing our connected critical national infrastructure: telecommunications, energy, water, and transport. The National Cyber Security Strategy states that cyber is central to government, the economy, critical national infrastructure, and every citizen. Cyberse- By DInoS Anthony KERIgAn-KyRoU

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