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92pc Irish firms at risk of cyber attack

Friday, September 05 10:30:26

A conference in Dublin today heard that 92pc of Irish companies are putting themselves and their reputations at risk from cyber attack through poor or inadequate security.

That's higher than the global average, which stands at 86pc, the conference held by Aon Risk Solutions, at The Convention Centre in Dublin heard.

Research highlights severe vulnerabilities amongst companies operating in Ireland. Data based on inputs from over 1200 companies into the Aon Cyber Diagnostic Tool revealed a lack of awareness about potential exposures and a lack of focus on putting in place structures to manage and mitigate that risk. The survey reveals that 92pc of Irish companies are exposed to cyber risk - a figure that is higher than the global average which stands at 86pc.

Addressing the conference Sarah Stephens, Head of Cyber Risk and Commercial E and O - EMEA, Aon Risk Solutions said: "The digital interconnectivity of business operations, suppliers and customers in today's world has resulted in organisations being increasingly exposed to cyber-attacks. As the technology sector evolves and companies become more reliant on cloud computing, big data and social media the cyber risk threat continues to grow. While technical innovation is a great thing that can benefit everyone it can also be damaging if a company's policies and procedures do not change to keep pace with the potential exposure that the use of new technology can bring to a company or an individual."

"It's our experience that the issue of cyber security needs to be addressed at boardroom level. The research from our cyber diagnostic tool shows that only 22pc of people at management level in Irish companies are actively engaged on the topic. Aon's goal is to help clients to use risk understanding to make better business decisions and ultimately support them in growing a safer working and commercial environment."

"The diversity of threats is increasing - from the loss of control of data through the use of outsourcing to the growing proficiency of hackers and malicious individuals to the constant risk of human error in an organisation a hit can come from one of many different places. One area where we consistently find a weakness is that companies are allowing individuals to send sensitive data to their personal devices. They are doing this without investing in the right kind of training and leave both themselves and the employee exposed. Saving a few hundred euro on training will cost in the long run if an employee treats company data incorrectly."

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