The House Institutions Committee on Wednesday discussed government security in light of a wave of cyber-attacks.

Though some MPs sought to have the matter discussed openly, it was eventually held behind closed doors as the Deputy Minister of Research and Digital Policy Philippos Hadjizacharias cited matters of national security.

Akel MP Irene Charalambides’ comment that water leaks that caused the servers to go down last month were completely irrelevant to hackers was eventually overruled as Hadjizacharias said they could not discuss government measures on cyber security that might make it out to the public domain.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency after the session, the minister said there is currently a 13-pillar plan that is currently with the finance ministry for comments. It also includes encompassing Security Operations Centre (SOC) infrastructure.

Once that step is finalised, the plan will head to Cabinet for approval.

Hadjizacharias said it would not be apt to disclose how much the project will cost at this stage, as it is still subject to changes. Nonetheless, it includes hiring experts, purchasing new equipment and any potential systems.

He could not say with certainty when the finance ministry would be wrapped with its assessment but explained he was in touch with the finance minister.

A finance ministry spokeswoman said they were doing everything they could to tackle the matter as soon as possible.

During the session, Chararalambides tabled the contentious issue of political appointees turning into permanent public staffers, which has created furore after a court decision last week said four associates of former President Nikos Anastasiades could keep their status as permanent employees.

One of the four is Anastasiades’ niece and according to the audit service, the four have been paid much more than they should be, while some of them do not even have a university degree.