Seventy-two per cent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) pinpoint corporate extortion and ransomware as the most significant risks to businesses, followed closely by attacks targeting corporate systems and application vulnerabilities (60%).
This is according to Logicalis Ireland, the IT solutions and managed services provider, who today announced the results of a survey of CIOs. The global research, carried out by Logicalis, surveyed 890 CIOs across 23 countries, including 34 from Ireland.
Also high on the radar are increasingly sophisticated social engineering attacks (58%), identity and credential hijacking (43%), and malicious insiders (30%).
One in three CIOs admitted that concerns over security have led to the curtailment or cancellation of IT projects within their organisations, and that security is one of the main stumbling blocks when it comes to embracing digital transformation.
The survey also highlighted other barriers to digital transformation including organisational culture (56%), cost (50%), complex legacy technology (44%) and a lack of skills (34%). Overall, there has been slow progress within this area over the last year, with only 5% of CIOs considering their organisations to be digital innovators.
Despite this, CIOs expressed big plans to push digital enablement forward, with just 11% having no desire for transformation. Moreover, over half plan to replace and/or adapt existing infrastructure and an equal amount hope to bring about culture change. More than a third aim to address skill shortages with increasing training and development, while 31% expect to invest in extra security capabilities.
In Ireland, CIOs see the value of IT in delivering business outcomes as very important, with more than a quarter already using the Internet of Things. The fact that many are seeing benefits is also positive, with the majority noting the improvement of operations as a key advantage.
Commenting on the survey, CEO of Logicalis Ireland, Andrew Baird said, "It has never been more important for businesses to focus on security. Irish companies may not realise that they are leaving themselves vulnerable to serious threats such as corporate extortion and credential hijacking, the results of which could be catastrophic. It’s vital that organisations take the necessary steps to help protect their infrastructure and assets against cyberattacks. This will also provide them with the confidence they need to fully embrace digital transformation, something which is needed, with only 5% of CIOs considering their businesses to be digital innovators."
He added, "However, this is an area where Irish companies should, and can, look to steal a lead on their international counterparts, with over a quarter of Irish organisations having already implemented Internet of Things solutions. Hopefully, we are on the right track to digital enablement."