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06 Dec 2021

Budget doubled to prevent cyber attacks in Laois County Council

Budget doubled to prevent cyber attacks in Laois County Council

In the wake of the major cyber attack on the HSE in 2021, Laois County Council has announced a near doubling of its budget to protect its computer systems.

The local authority will spend €89,000 in 2022 on new staff wages to defend its systems, its staff and public.

The CEO John Mulholland said anything else is “not an option”, speaking at the annual budget meeting on November 8.

“There is a provision of nearly €90,000 to ensure that the council can monitor and protect its IT systems against cyber attacks. We all agree that that’s not an option. We just have to ensure that we have the highest degree of protection in our IT systems both for customers and for staff, and yourself as elected members,” CEO John Mulholland said.

He spoke at the council’s annual budget meeting on November 8 when €88.337 million was agreed to be spent running Laois in 2022.

The cyber security fund is a relatively new measure by the council, the Director of Services for Finance confirmed.

“We had no provision for this five years ago and that’s gone up by nearly 50% this year,” Gerry Murphy said.

“We are all aware of what happened in the HSE. Keeping ahead of cyber crime is what we have to do. We have two extra staff in that area. It is an absolute necessity. The work we have done in the last three years has kept us ahead,” he said.

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