The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D. today (Wednesday the 16th of January) opened a consultation on a set of draft guidelines for Operators of Essential Services within the State.
Operators of Essential Services are those organisations who provide services, such as energy supply, transport networks, banking, health services, digital infrastructure and drinking water supply that are of critical importance to the operation of the State.
The draft guidelines being put out to consultation today are designed to assist Operators of Essential Services (OES) in their security and incident reporting requirements under a new European Union Directive which was transposed to Irish law on the 18th of September 2018.
The draft guidelines represent a sample approach that could be adopted by Operators of Essential Services (OES) to manage the risks posed to the security of the network and information systems used in their operations and also provide indicative reporting levels. The guidelines are technology neutral and non-sector specific to allow OES in different sectors adapt these to meet their needs, and to evolve their sector specific response along with technological advances and business requirements.
Any person or organisation can make a representation in relation to the draft Guidelines, which can be found online on the Department's consultation page here. Interested parties have 30 working days to make their submission. These representations will be considered before the final version of the Guidelines is published and comes into operation.
Minister Bruton said, "In todays interconnected world, the government must ensure the continuous and safe delivery of key societal and economic activities. We must oversee the protection of the technology that underpins most critical services such as energy supply, transport networks, banking, health services, telecommunications networks and drinking water supply. These guidelines are an important step forward in ensuring operators of essential services in the State maintain a high level of cyber security to protect those services from harm."
These draft measures will be open for consultation until the 27th of February 2019.
Notes for Editors
The European Union Directive which was transposed to Irish law on the 18th of September 2018 was done so under the European Union (Measures for a High Common Level of Security of Network and Information Systems) Regulations 2018 legislation.