Two-thirds of firms in Ireland admit being hit by cyberattacks

8 Dec 2015

As digital disruption continues to transform businesses, the majority are still unprepared for the reality of cyberattacks

While two-thirds of Irish business leaders confirm that their revenue will grow 5pc this year, an equal proportion have been hit by a cyberattack in the last year.

The PwC Business Barometer Survey of 600 Irish business leaders has found that digital disruption of the traditional business landscape is well underway.

With revenues and headcounts expected to increase, most leaders are concerned about the skills gap when it comes to reacting to the digital economy.

‘Digital technologies have increased the pace and the potential for new entrants to disrupt business models across multiple industries’

“The survey highlights the confidence Irish business leaders now have in the growth potential for their businesses,” said PwC Assurance Leader Enda McDonagh.

“While the outlook for job creation is very positive, some concern exists around skill gaps, particularly to support the digital economy.

Digital disruption

Digital technologies are likely to be of increasing importance to companies seeking new growth, as well as having the ability to disrupt existing business models.

“Business disruption is nothing new,” McDonagh said. “Entrepreneurs and business innovators have always focused on gaining competitive advantage by challenging existing business models and looking for smarter and more agile ways to go to market.

“What is new, though, is that digital technologies have increased the pace and the potential for new entrants to disrupt business models across multiple industries.”

Over half of Ireland’s business leaders are saying that their business is already experiencing significant digital disruption and the PwC research suggests that this is only likely to increase.

“We see a real opportunity for Irish companies that embed digital into their overall strategy to drive growth and deliver increased customer value and experience.”

Two-thirds (66pc) of survey respondents also revealed that they either had experienced a cyberattack in the last year or did not know if they had experienced such an attack.

“Management of cyber risk has moved from being a priority of the IT department to a key area of focus for boards given the very significant reputational and financial consequences of cyber breaches,” McDonagh continued.

“Businesses need to actively manage this risk and, while a lot of the focus will be on IT security, employee awareness and vigilance also needs to be a key area of focus,” McDonagh added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years