HSE finds recruiting cyber security staff ‘difficult’

HSE finds recruiting cyber security staff ‘difficult’

The Health Service Executive has said it is “especially difficult” to hire cybersecurity staff right now because of competition for talent.

Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of a major cyber attack on the HSE that caused months of disruption and could end up costing 100 million euros.

An independent review of PwC’s attack found that the HSE was running on a fragile computer system and did not have the right experience or cyber resources.

One of the main recommendations of the report was the need to hire more IT staff.

The HSE said a number of appointments have been made and recruitment competitions are being held for other positions.

“HSE faces similar challenges to other organizations where recruiting the best cybersecurity talent is a particularly difficult task in a tight labor market where demand effortlessly exceeds supply,” the HSE said in a statement.

PwC’s review of the cyber attack recommended the appointment of a director of technology and transformation and an information security officer.

The HSE said the positions are being held on an interim basis with permanent appointments likely to take several months.

In addition to outsourcing campaigns, the HSE said it is also improving existing staff, using postgraduate admissions and internships, as well as entering cybersecurity collaborations.

Cyber ​​Ireland represents the cybersecurity sector and today publishes a new report showing the potential to make Ireland a cybersecurity hub that generates thousands of jobs.

But it also reveals the serious shortage of talent that exists right now.

“Our report shows that 83% of companies will grow their cybersecurity teams over the next 12 months, but 60% of them have staffing issues around lack of candidates, technical skills and salaries Dr. Eoin Byrne of the Cluster. Cyber ​​Ireland Manager, he said.

When it comes to the HSE, this is a case of public sector wages that have to compete with the generous packages offered by the tech giants based here.

“It’s something we need to work on collaboratively with industry, academia and government to make sure we have a talent portfolio in cybersecurity and that we don’t depend on attracting talent from abroad.” said Byrne.

On May 14, 2021, cybercriminals, believed to be linked to the Russian pirate group Conti, carried out a ransomware attack on HSE.

They demanded a ransom for not posting stolen data and for digital decryption keys to unlock the systems they had disabled.

The government insisted that no ransom would be paid.

Six days after the attack, hackers threw a decryption key that helped in the recovery process.

The HSE said it has hired an internationally recognized company to offer cyber defense and managed security operations.

Other measures that have been introduced include enhanced computer monitoring, email validation systems, and additional email scanning.

Stuart Davis is director of incident response services for cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

He believes similar cyberattacks are likely in the future.

“Unfortunately, Irish institutions will always be susceptible to ransomware attacks. We have learned that we need a good crisis management framework for all of our government agencies,” he said.

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín said that a year after the HSE cyber attack, many questions remain unanswered.

“I’m not at all sure the government has really looked at how we’re going to prevent these attacks in the future,” he said.

“We have not had a proper investigation into what happened and Aontú is requesting an investigation led by the judge.”

“It was a disaster and there is no doubt that the human cost has not been fully analyzed in terms of the number of patients who were denied treatment at the time of need or how many suffered the loss. of lives, “he said.

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