The Government has announced the launch of a new cyber security strategy, aimed at protecting the Island’s entire digital infrastructure.
The move follows the establishment last year of the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA) which acts as the focal point for the Government’s cyber resilience measures.
The new strategy, which confirms commitments made in the Programme for Government, has been introduced to ensure that the Island can continue to offer a secure online environment for businesses, private residents and across the public sector. It will operate alongside international efforts aimed at combating cyber-attacks, including the UK’s cyber-resilience initiatives and international efforts to protect against a range of online malpractice.
The strategy has four main principles:
- Committed leadership by Government to achieve resilience – ensuring the Government is working closely and supportively with key partners
- Everyone playing a part in a progressive society – making sure that cyber security is seen as a shared responsibility, ensuring all are supported, educated and informed
- Support for Critical National Infrastructure – protecting commercial productivity and the Island’s public and private infrastructure
- Strong collaboration with business to achieve prosperity – working closely with all business sectors whilst ensuring transparency and openness
There are a number of actions planned as a result of the new strategy, including upgraded business continuity and emergency planning exercises, ongoing legislative change to keep up with new EU and international standards, the sharing of best practice with UK and other cyber security networks, and a programme of education which will explain the support available in case of cyber-related incidents.
Speaking at the launch, held at OCSIA’s newly-commissioned office, Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Member with responsibility for cyber security, said:
'With so much of our everyday lives now taking place online, we have to take cyber security very seriously. The strategy published this week is public proof of exactly how we are doing this. If the Island is going to continue to exploit its strong position in the modern, interconnected world we need to make sure that we are giving the maximum support possible to our residents and our businesses.'
Richard Wild, the Executive Director for Government Technology Services (GTS) and head of OCSIA, commented:
'Nobody is underestimating the importance of maintaining the security of our online networks and our critical national infrastructure, including water and power supplies, hospital systems and the transport network across the Island. The OCSIA team will be working closely with all public authorities, and the wider community, to make sure that the strategy is kept at the forefront of everything we do.'