Business Irish

Monday 16 September 2019

Irish firms increasing security spend to fight cyber crime - but human error is biggest threat

Photo: Getty Stock
Photo: Getty Stock
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The growing sophistication of cyber crime has led many Irish firms to increase their online security spend - but the biggest danger of all is in-house.

Human error, and not solely the actions of hi-tech criminals, has been found to be the greatest facing businesses here as they attempt to establish a formal cyber defence strategy.

According to the results of latest research by IT company, DataSolutions, the majority of the 111 Irish decision-makers surveyed (93pc) claim that this defence is in place.

However, some 63pc of respondents still feel that their company would not be able to defend itself against emerging threats, with more than three quarters planning on pumping more spend into cybersecurity this year.

DataSolutions security specialist David Keating said that the cyber threat environment is constantly evolving and Irish companies are responding in kind to this danger.

He maintains that a lack of training could account for the fact that one third of respondents feel that their security teams are not completely prepared for existing security challenges.

But whether it may be in-house training, or investing in new security infrastructure, more than half of IT professionals believe that their company's budget is inadequate.

"An increased focus on training could help equip companies for the biggest perceived security threats," he said.

"From carelessness and error to phishing attacks, most of the leading security threats are heavily influenced by people and so employee cybersecurity training is a no-brainer for business leaders who are serious about cyber protection."

Some 57pc of respondents stated that phishing attacks, disguised malicious emails targeting employees, to be a serious security threat. Following close behind was malware (54pc) and ransomware (52pc) as the most worrying security concerns. 

While a majority of 78pc or Irish businesses said that they would never pay a ransom, almost one fifth (19pc) responded that they have been held to ransom by a hacker. 

"Companies need to remain on-guard against not just ransomware but the myriad of cyber threats, with continued investment in security technologies and teams," said Keating.

"Simply throwing more money at cyber security is not the answer to these new challenges. Organisations must adopt a strategic and targeted approach to effectively combat threats.

 "Irish businesses are starting to take a more mature approach to security and accept that it is very likely they will be hit by an emerging threat. Hackers are always going to be one step ahead, so it is essential that companies have the right defence technology in place.”

DataSolutions is hosting its sixth annual Secure Computing Forum in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Thursday, September 20.

Online Editors

Also in Business