Cyber & Information Data Security and Challenges

17 February 2022


Online - please register through the link issued to your organisation

In the context of the many well-publicised situations and persistent challenges facing all organisations, the areas of cyber and information data security have grown exponentially in importance, and will remain so for all organisations into the future given the development of, and dependency on, digital information and services.

Indeed, the recent pandemic has arguably accelerated the pace of change for many organisations, in respect of quicker moves to remote working and online service delivery. Alongside the significant opportunities this presents, it also presents serious and significant threats. This was brought home in a very high profile manner through the cyber-attack on the Health Service Executive (HSE) in May 2021. The attack illustrates the risk to all organisations, be they public, not-for-profit or private, and prompts reflection on the type of assurances senior teams, boards and committees should seek and expect. The recently published Cyber Security Baseline Standards for Public Bodies is very welcome and an area to be explored further, .

Alongside and relevant to this, organisations are holders of large amounts of information, including personal information, and have important obligations in this regard. We are approaching 4 years since the introduction of GDPR in May 2018, and it is timely to reflect on its implementation and the types of common issues arising since that time. These will likewise prompt some reflections for senior teams, boards and committees in terms of assurances sought and expected.

With the help of three highly experienced speakers, the event will consider issues such as:

We are very pleased to have three key speakers who will share their unique insights on these key issues including:

The event will be moderated by Dr. Deirdre Bane, Senior Specialist, IPA


Fran Thompson

Fran is Chief Information Officer of the Health Service Executive (HSE) and CEO of eHealth Ireland, enabling the digital transformation of Ireland’s health service.

Fran has over 25 years health ICT leadership experience and has a comprehensive understanding of the practical application of transformation and change management within the health sector. Before his appointment as Chief Information Officer, Fran was the Programme Director for the Strategic e-Health Programme for the Office of the CIO. Fran has been involved with all aspects of ICT and has played a leading role in delivering various projects and programmes including Hospital Administration and Hospital Clinical systems, Primary Care messaging solutions and Health Finance solutions.

Fran led the creation and set up of the ICT Project Management Office within the HSE and has responsibility for delivering a number of key strategic e-Health programmes including the electronic health record for the country and the Individual Health Identifier.

Ultan O'Carroll

Ultan is Deputy Commissioner for Technology and Operational Performance at the Data Protection Commission (DPC). He previously served as Assistant Commissioner at the DPC for over seven years. In this time, he led on technology advisory and policy matters for the DPC at national and EU level, while also working across the DPC’s regulatory units on audit, compliance and enforcement related to SME and multinational organisations.

Ultan also leads on GDPR accreditation and certification at the DPC. Ultan carries forward these technology advisory and certification leadership roles, and takes on responsibility for DPC's ICT strategy, assurance, and operational performance at a time of transformative change and growth in an increasingly international context. Ultan worked extensively in the private sector within technology industries in the UK and Ireland prior to joining the Commissioner's office.

Joseph Stephens

Joseph is the National Cyber Security Centre’s Head of Engagement. He is a former Captain in the Irish Defence Forces. His team in the NCSC leads the development of the State’s cyber security risk analysis and risk management measures, collaborating with the public and private sector to defend against cyber threats to government networks, critical infrastructure, public bodies, private industry, and citizens.

Joseph was awarded a Fulbright Cybersecurity Scholarship and will travel to Boston College in 2022 as a visiting scholar to conduct research relating to the protection of critical infrastructure from cyber threats.