Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK has today, Friday 13 October 2017 announced the launch of the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance, or OCSIA.
The move follows a Council of Ministers’ Directive authorising the establishment of a distinct function within the Cabinet Office to focus on all parts of cyber security.
The Directive makes it clear that a well-publicised attack against the Isle of Man’s health service, financial sector or critical national infrastructure would have a damaging effect on the Island’s reputation. It says that to manage this threat immediate action is required. As a result, OCSIA will concentrate on a number of related areas, including Information Risk, Cyber Security and Data Protection
It will act as the focal point in developing the Government’s cyber resilience, working in partnership with private and third sector organisations across the Island alongside the wider population. OCSIA will be the force behind a major transformative programme – the National Cyber Security and Information Assurance Programme – designed to test, evaluate and promote cyber security, cyber resilience and information assurance for all of the Isle of Man. It will also coordinate the publication of a National Cyber Security Strategy by the end of this year.
Work will ensure that departments, boards, offices and other public authorities can deter and defend against cybercrime by maintaining and sharing information. OCSIA will provide assurance that all government entities are operating at an appropriate level of cyber security and support the wider all-Government response to a cyber-incident.
In addition, through a network of specialist cyber awareness roles, and in conjunction with Departmental Senior Information Risk Owners, OCSIA will provide central policy advice, standards, direction and support to allow all Departments and Statutory Boards to both defend against cyber-crime and maximise the safe use of all the information they hold.
OCSIA will report in to Richard Wild, Executive Director for Government Technology Services (GTS).
The Chief Minister commented: ‘We all know that cyber-related incidents, including attacks on governments, businesses and individuals, are an ever-increasing risk in the modern world. It is vital that we are able to effectively respond to these dangers and to do this we need appropriate resources, policies and procedures. This is why the Council of Ministers issued a Policy Directive for the creation of OCSIA and why its success is so important. It will have the resources and the autonomy, as a discrete function within the Cabinet Office, to put its plans in to action, and to do so quickly.’
David Ashford MHK, Member for Cyber Security, added: “We are going to have to move fast to make sure that we deliver everything that is needed, not least the coordination of the Island’s National Cyber Security Strategy by the close of the year. But with the support of the Council of Ministers, and their very clear support for what OSCIA has to achieve, I know that by working together we can be fully prepared and deliver on the challenges that face us as a small jurisdiction operating in a technologically driven global environment.”