Security reviewed in Laois' €1bn council payroll section following attack on Meath

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois County Council HQ

Cyber security reviewed at county hall

The council that manages millions of euros a month in payments to thousands of public servants around Ireland, is to review its security systems in the wake of a nearly successful €4m cyber theft attack on Meath County Council.

Laois County Council runs the centralised pay system for almost every local authority in Ireland. With 69 staff now employed, it has processed over a million wages and pension payments since it began three years ago, worth a total of €945 million.

The deputy CEO Kieran Kehoe is "as confident as one can be", that their cyber security systems can hold back any further international attacks.

“Over the last few months, we did a strong review of our cyber security systems and we did amend some practices and systems. We are very conscious of the risk of such an attack, particularly on MyPay. Security is our top priority, both for us and for MyPay,” said Mr Kehoe.

A new review was carried out this week in light of the Meath incident.

"We are satisfied that we have the necessary safeguards in place in Laois County Council. Our cyber security systems and processes are reviewed regularly," Mr Kehoe said.

It is understood that €4.3 million was stolen from Meath County Council’s bank accounts in an identity theft over the October bank holiday. It was intercepted by the National Economic Crime Bureau and the funds were frozen in a bank in Hong Kong.