Tusla’s chief executive said so far there was “no indication” of any information being stolen from his files as part of the HSE ransomware attack, although “it is too much. early to be final “.
Bernard Gloster also highlighted the magnitude of the challenges the Child and Family Agency is facing as a result of the cyber attack, including the shift to manual systems to identify issues involving children, and a small number of cases in which payments have been delayed.
Mr Gloster provided a written update to members of the Oireachtas Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Inclusion earlier on Friday.
In a statement, Mr Gloster said: “We have many files and databases on the HSE network and not all of them are available to us at the moment.
“While there is no doubt that our staff are facing the current situation, teams across the country have a wide range of professional knowledge and this, coupled with manual systems, ensures that we are able to continue to give priority to our immediate protection of children and children in care services. “
Referrals continue to operate manually as the portal normally used to identify agency concerns is disabled and Mr Gloster said he wanted to assure the commission and the public that every effort will continue to be made to reduce the impact on people.
While there is evidence of encryption associated with the attack, including on the agency’s operating systems, there is no indication at this time of information theft and Mr Gloster said that he continued to receive reassuring updates on this aspect, “however, it is too early to be definitive”.
Thursday’s secure HSE injunction preventing publication of data stolen during the cyberattack covers Tusla’s information hosted on the HSE network.
The statement also describes the efforts made to ensure that payments are made within the closest possible normal time frame. These include follow-up allowances for leavers, foster care payments, payments to providers and staff.
Tusla said that in a small number of cases there will be a delay and arrangements have been made so that no one is in trouble, while arrangements have also been made for cases in court, which are often urgent. .
“We are working with our legal representatives and the courts department to ensure that no child who is the subject of legal proceedings is negatively impacted,” Tusla said.