41pc of Irish businesses have been hit with cyberattacks, survey shows

2 Feb 2023

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The survey showed many businesses are taking steps to boost their cybersecurity, such as training and creating incident response plans.

Most business leaders in Ireland are concerned with the risks cyberattacks pose to their organisation, with nearly 70pc taking cybersecurity training in the last 12 months, according to a new survey.

The survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland also revealed that 41pc of organisations have experienced a cyberattack in the past, based on the responses of business leaders.

78pc of these attacks have occurred within the last two years, while 25pc of those suffering a cyberattack said it occurred within the last six months.

The IoD survey was completed by 307 directors and business leaders who are members of the organisation. IoD Ireland CEO Caroline Spillane said the number of cyberattacks highlighted in the survey is “concerning”, as these attacks can impact an organisation’s reputation, finances and operational resilience.

“It is crucial that the governance of cyber security must evolve in line with the sophistication of the threat landscape, along with the introduction of necessary cyber security protection legislation and regulation measures,” Spillane said.

The threat of cyberattacks appears to be a major concern for businesses. Roughly 70pc of business leaders said they were either “very” or “extremely” concerned with potential cyberthreats to the continuity of their businesses.

More than 35pc said cybersecurity is discussed in every board meeting, while 27pc said it is discussed quarterly.

Most organisations appear to be taking measures to be prepared in the event of a cyberattack. More than 65pc said their organisations have a board-approved cybersecurity strategy in place, while 81pc said they have a response plan in the event of a cyberattack.

Spillane said it is “positive to see” the steps organisations are taking to prepare themselves around cybersecurity.

“These measures are key to board leadership on cybersecurity and illustrate a director’s duty of care, as does directors’ training, which will enable them to effectively assess cyber security risks,” Spillane said.

Last November, a PwC survey found that Irish executives had noted an increase in cyberattacks since 2020 due to the increased digital acceleration in their organisations.

Despite the growth of cyberattacks, a recent Typetec survey claimed the average cybersecurity budget for Irish SMEs is set to drop by more than 50pc for 2023.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic