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Irish firms pay most for cyber-attacks, European study finds


Stock photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Stock photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Stock photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Irish firms suffer the highest median cost in Europe from cyber-attacks, at almost €92,000, a major new survey claims.

Cyber incidents and breaches cost sampled Irish companies €113m over a six month period, with one unnamed Irish company suffering total cyber losses of €17.8m.

The results form part of a Europe-wide study by Hiscox Insurance, with 125 of 335 Irish companies surveyed found to have suffered a cyber-attack in that period.

The report also claims that 6.5pc of Irish firms paid a ransom following a ransomware attack.

The most heavily targeted sectors were financial services, manufacturing and technology, media and telecoms with 44pc of firms in each sector reporting at least one incident or breach.

On average, Irish businesses spent 13pc of their IT budget on cyber security, the report found. However, 18pc of businesses said they “didn’t know” if they had experienced a cyber event, with 5pc admitting that they do not back up critical data.

In all, cyber losses among the surveyed 5,569 businesses across Europe which were targeted by cyber-attacks have risen nearly six-fold, from a median of €8,900 per firm to €50,732.

It’s the first time that the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report has included Irish data. The report also surveyed a representative sample of private and public sector organisations in the US, UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. Each firm was assessed on its cyber security strategy and execution and ranked accordingly.

The survey claims that Ireland tops the table for the percentage of companies expressing confidence in their IT and security readiness (70pc and 66pc respectively). Irish firms are also most likely to have a standalone cyber insurance policy (38pc), according to the report.

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