Wednesday 7 December 2016

Ireland not ready for cyber crime threat, say 90pc of businesses

Published 24/10/2016 | 02:30

Six out of 10 businesses expect to be the victim of cyber crime in the year ahead. Stock Image: PA
Six out of 10 businesses expect to be the victim of cyber crime in the year ahead. Stock Image: PA

Six out of 10 businesses expect to be the victim of cyber crime in the year ahead, and 90pc think the country is not prepared for a potential attack on the State.

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That's according to a survey ahead of the Dublin Info Sec 2016 cybersecurity conference, which takes place in Dublin next month.

It found that 60pc of businesses in Ireland expect a cyber attack to occur in the next year, and 45pc say they have already been on the receiving end of an attack on their business.

The average cost of fraud to organisations in Ireland has increased from €498,000 in 2014 to €1.7m, while the number of attacks has almost doubled since 2012.

Dublin Info Sec 2016, organised by Independent News & Media (INM), will bring together private and public sector cybersecurity experts, with panels addressing IT security topics including the threat of ransomware, human factors in cybersecurity and Ireland's cyber resiliency, crucially highlighting IT security tools and technologies in the face of increasing risks to businesses.

The conference will be opened by Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, and is aimed at 'C-suite' and senior business executives, according to the organisers.

The past weekend saw one of the most sustained and high-profile global cyber attacks ever, with some of the biggest and most sophisticated companies in the digital economy targeted.

Hackers unleashed a complex attack on the internet through common devices such as webcams and digital recorders - and cut access to some of the world's best known websites on Friday - in a stunning breach of global internet stability.

The attacks struck Twitter, Paypal, Spotify and other customers of a little known company in the US called Dyn, which acts as a switchboard for internet traffic.

In an extraordinary development, the attacks used hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices - the so-called internet of things - that had previously been infected with a malicious code and piggy backed off them to cause outages that began in eastern United States and they then spread to other parts of the country and Europe.

The US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said they were investigating disruptions that came at a time of unprecedented fears about the cyber threat in the United States, where hackers have breached political organisations and election agencies.

Here in Ireland, the expert panelists at the Dublin Info Sec 2016 event on November 15 will include cyberpsychology expert Dr Mary Aiken, adjunct associate professor at University College Dublin and an academic adviser (psychology) to Europol's European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3).

Cybersecurity consultant Brian Honan, also a special adviser to Europol's EC3; WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison; Michael Gubbins of the Garda Cyber Crime Bureau, and leading figures from the private sector will also feature at the conference. Topics to be covered include Ireland's resilience to cyber attacks, the role of whistleblowers and growing regulatory pressures on companies to manage and protect client and employee data.

Visit www.independent.ie/ infosec2016

Irish Independent

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