Ward Solutions, Ireland’s leading information security provider, has commissioned a survey which found that Irish organisations are spending on average €240,000 per year dealing with cybercrime. These costs are spread across prevention, response and damages caused by hacking, identity theft, malicious software and other forms of cybercrime.

The survey, which was carried out among 263 IT professionals in Ireland, also revealed a worrying lack of confidence in the security of data when using online public services. Only 35% of respondents are “very confident” their data would be secure when using online public services, such as sharing motor tax or revenue information.

Findings showed that three quarters of organisations are most concerned about damage to reputation and brand as a result of cybercrime. Loss of confidential data and critical operations disruption were the next largest concerns, ahead of loss of revenue, loss of customers and financial fraud.

Ward Solutions’ research showed that almost half of Irish organisations (48%) have experienced spear phishing attacks, whereby a member of an organisation has been targeted with fraudulent and highly personalised emails by skilled actors or impersonators. Almost one in ten (8%) of these phishing attempts were successful.

Other findings highlighted the blurred lines between work and personal life – 70% of respondents access both work and personal social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, via the same device. This leaves organisations vulnerable to loss of information via social media channels. Only 25% of employees are “very confident” such information would be recoverable in the event of a security breach.”

Pat Larkin, CEO, Ward Solutions pictured below, said, “The €240,000 average yearly spend on cyber security highlights the growing threat of cybercrime and the huge financial impact it has on Irish organisations. The results mirror our experience with IT security over the past few years, where we have seen IT professionals spend more time and money in response to cybercrime.”

Pat Larkin, CEO, Ward Solutions

“Worryingly, 35% of people do not have full confidence in their data security when using online public services. Recent highly-publicised data breaches and hacking scandals are likely the cause of this, and rightly so. When it comes to information security in public or private service, trust needs to be earned and maintained.”

“An astounding volume of respondents blend access to work and personal social media accounts on the same personal device. This poses new risks and challenges for organisations and in our experience, it is paramount that the users’ identity, as well as the device in use, are both secure in order to protect the organisation.”

“What we are seeing is a trend of constant fire-fighting, which is a drain on resources and adding no real value to organisations. It shouldn’t be about throwing money and internal resources at the problem and hoping it goes away. Irish organisations need to be much more proactive and clever about dealing with the growing cyber security threat .”

The survey was commissioned by Ward Solutions and carried out by TechPro magazine throughout the month of May 2015 among 263 IT professionals in enterprises in Ireland.

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