More than 73pc of Irish companies suffered IT outages due to the country’s unreliable telecoms infrastructure, a new survey by Ernst & Young has revealed.
The annual Ernst & Young Global Information Security Survey for 2003 has also shown that Irish companies rate computer viruses and employee misconduct with company computers as their top information security concerns.
Ernst & Young Ireland’s director of technology and security risk services Pat Moran said: “Many respondents’ experiences showed that outages were directly related to the infrastructure rebuild that is ongoing throughout their local areas with construction equipment inadvertently damaging telecommunications links.”
He added: “It is evident that in the current economic climate, companies need to spend their limited information security budgets wisely. This can only be accomplished by identifying what vulnerabilities exist and then prioritising the spend on the most serious risks to the business.”
In comparison with their UK counterparts, 20pc more Irish companies have insurance to cover losses due to outages.
In Ireland, the survey found, the threat of domestic cyber terrorism is rated at a significantly lower level of concern than the rest of the EU.
Companies worldwide report that budget constraints are the number one obstacle to implementing an effective information security programme. However, Irish companies say that the lack of availability of skilled security resources are a more significant challenge than their EU counterparts.
Irish companies are also less likely to outsource the management and monitoring of information technology infrastructure than EU companies, due to lack of knowledge about outsourcing, anxiety over internal job losses and fear that service level agreements will not be met.
“Given the current climate of corporate governance and heightened security awareness, companies cannot afford to be complacent about information security and likewise companies IT executives must complement their technical skills with increased business acumen,” Moran said.
By John Kennedy