Cyberattacks remain a top concern for Irish businesses

8 Jan 2024

Aon Ireland CEO Rachael Ingle. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography.

The Aon Global Risk Management Survey found that supply chain failures, losing talent and the climate crisis are among the top challenges facing Irish businesses.

Cyberattacks and data breaches are at the top of the list for risks facing Irish businesses, according to a new report by Aon.

The company’s latest Global Risk Management Survey gathered insights from leaders, risk managers and senior executives across a range of industries. The 2023 edition surveyed 2,842 respondents across 61 countries and territories to identify their most-pressing business challenges.

Aon said the results of its latest survey indicate that leaders are closely monitoring the increasing frequency and growing impact of potential cyberattacks. Nearly 95pc of Irish businesses in the survey have a formal plan or are reviewing processes to mitigate against cyberattacks.

The importance of addressing cybersecurity risks is also high globally, according to the survey. The Irish results are similar to an Aon report last year, which found that cyberattacks had grown to be a primary concern for businesses.

“The world is more volatile with profound changes in trade, technology, weather and workforce issues impacting companies across Ireland,” said Aon Ireland CEO Rachael Ingle. “From cyberattacks and geopolitical instability to low growth and a tight labour market, leaders in Ireland face an increasingly complex risk landscape.”

Failures in supply chains or distribution ranked third in the current risks facing companies in Ireland, according to the survey. A failure to attract or retain top talent has risen eight places from the last global survey in 2021, being the fifth highest risk in the latest report.

Meanwhile, the risk posed by the climate crisis has also risen significantly up the agenda for Irish businesses, rising 21 places to the 10th spot in the top current risks.

“With the frequency of cyberattacks increasing and their potential impact deepening, we welcome the finding that most businesses are taking proactive action to mitigate against this likely risk,” Ingle said. “However, a small but significant number of firms have yet to implement any plan to address cyber risk and should move quickly to minimise its potential impact.

“By acting on the insights shared in our survey, leaders can ensure their organisation is better prepared for the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic