Irish SMEs ignore IT security

24 Feb 2003

Irish companies are paying lip service to IT security and it shows – to their peril! This is what the National IT and E-security Summit will be hearing later this week from Grellan Larkin, head of security consulting at Sysnet, as he illustrates how the majority of Irish firms have failed to implement security measures.

According to Larkin, security incidents and breaches in Irish organisations are on the increase. “We are seeing a steady increase in security breaches across companies of all sizes and sectors. Lax IT security has left companies wide open to serious damage from employee misuse of IT, fraud, hacking and viruses,” he says.

While most have placed IT security on their agendas, many merely pay it lip service and IT policies go either unnoticed or are simply not implemented.

Larkin warns that Irish companies must learn to view security as an integral part of business and this must start right at the top. “Security is a business issue and affects the entire business from company reputation to viability. Senior managers, including CEOs, cannot escape their responsibility for ensuring that they are not exposed, or at the very least have implemented best practice.”

On the issue of return on investment, Larkin said that companies can make substantial economic returns from their IT security investments. “As the number of annual security-related incidents decreases, companies won’t require large sums of money to throw at each problem that crops up. Instead, they can ensure that the cost is spread over a fixed term and is budgeted,” he says.

By John Kennedy