On Saturday afternoon Meath County Council confirmed it was the target of an attempted cyber-attack.
During the October bank holiday weekend, a transaction to the value of €4.3 million was detected, and fortunately on this occasion was blocked before being completed. The council’s bank was alerted and the matter was reported to the Gardaí, who provided assistance through the Financial Intelligence Unit in the National Economic Crime Bureau and through Interpol.
The funds have now been secured in a Hong Kong Account and will be returned to Meath County Council. The matter is now the subject of criminal investigations and legal proceedings in Ireland and abroad.
Fianna Fáil councillor Wayne Harding described the attack as a “modern day bank robbery”.
Meath East Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Byrne said he would be seeking assurances that cyber security procedures within Meath County Council were at their highest possible level.
He also called on other local authorities across the State to examine their own internal cyber security procedures to ensure they do not fall victim to a similar attack.
Europol announced earlier this year that cybercrime is such a problem for organisations that it now surpasses traditional crimes figures all across Europe.
At Certification Europe we have seen Information Security become a growing concern for organisations. In the last 18 months we have seen organisations turn to management systems like ISO 27001, which covers best industry practices for ensuring information security and breach prevention. ISO 270001 provides organisations a management system to handle a cyber-attack similar to the attack Meath County Council fell victim to last October.
In 2016 we have seen organisations from both the public and private sector come to us for training and guidance on how to implement an information security management system that can help them prevent cyber-attacks of this nature.
In 2017 we will be running multiple training courses on how to implement an information security management system that reduces the risk of attack and protects your data and your client’s data. The course is conducted by Simon Loughran, Head of Information Security for Certification Europe with over 10 years’ experience implementing information security systems.
If you wish to learn more contact Richard O Brien on 01 642 9300.