Cybercrime is becoming an expensive burden for businesses

19 Apr 2016

After asset missapropriation, cybercrime is the second most costly form of fraud impacting businesses and this is set to accelerate says PwC

One in five businesses in Ireland that has been affected by cybercrime has incurred losses of between €92,000 and €4.6m, according to PwC.

After asset misappropriation of funds, cybercrime is now the second biggest form of fraud impacting businesses in Ireland and has almost doubled in the past year, according to new research.

The new research from PwC said the average cost of fraud to an organisation in Ireland now stands at €1.7m, up from €498,000 in 2014.

‘Cybercrime is perceived to be the highest economic crime risk going forward for Irish businesses’

Nearly half (44pc) of organisations in Ireland that reported economic crime suffered a cyberattack in the last two years – nearly double the 25pc levels of 2012 and higher than the global average of 32pc.

Of those affected by cybercrime in Ireland, nearly one in five (18pc) incurred losses of between €92k and €4.6m.

The PwC 2016 Economic Crime Study showed that asset misappropriation is the most prevalent economic crime reported, according to 53pc of firms, followed by cybercrime and money laundering (15pc).

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

According to the report, boards in Ireland are not paying enough attention to preparing their firms to tackle cybercrime.

Last year, less than half (41pc) of board members requested information on how cyber-ready their organisation was.

Despite this, less than half of companies surveyed have trained a first response team to mobilise in the event of a breach.

“Cybercrime is also perceived to be the highest economic crime risk going forward for Irish businesses,” said Pat Moran, PwC leader for cybercrime.

“Looking to the future, cybercrime is forecasted to be the most frequent type of economic crime. Over a third (36pc) expect more cyberattacks in the future.

“This may be reflective of cybercrime having a higher profile in the media through the occurrence of a number of high-profile incidents, as well as the significant increase of devices that are now connected to the internet.

“Despite significant financial losses being linked to cybercrime, respondents cited the  theft or loss of personal identity information and reputational damage as having the greatest impact to their organisations ahead of actual financial loss,” Moran said.

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