Ireland’s defence against cyber attack on energy supplies tested in simulation exercise

The Garda, the Defence Forces and ESB Networks were among the Sate agencies which took part

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has held an emergency exercise simulating the national response to a hypothetical large-scale cyber incident affecting Ireland’s energy sector.

The aim of the exercise, which took place in the National Emergency Coordination Centre, was to test the procedures outlined in the National Cyber Emergency Plan to ensure the Government, State agencies, and relevant stakeholders are prepared for a cyber attack on critical infrastructure.

The Garda, the Defence Forces, ESB Networks, EirGrid, Gas Networks Ireland, the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, and a third-party cyber incident provider took part in the exercise.

The Government said ESB Networks, EirGrid and Gas Networks Ireland have “robust and tested procedures” in place to deal with emergencies of this nature.


NCSC director Richard Browne said: “The scenario outlining a series of escalating cyber incidents in the energy sector was a complex and challenging reminder of the difficulties associated with coordinating a whole-of-Government response to national-level crises.

“The exercise also allowed us to test and coordinate with our partners across the public and private sector leaving us better prepared to collaborate during any real-life situations.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter