The majority (60%) of senior IT decision makers consider human error to be the greatest cyber threat facing Irish businesses, according to the results of new research commissioned by specialist IT solutions distributor, DataSolutions. The July survey of 111 Irish IT decision-makers also revealed that 93% of respondents claim that their organisations now have a formal cyber defence strategy.
The independent survey shows that almost two thirds (63%) of respondents feel that their organisations are not equipped to deal with all emerging threats. More than three quarters (76%) expect to increase their cybersecurity spend in 2018. Many businesses are planning a significant increase; with 30% indicating a rise in spend of over one quarter.
The survey found that 57% of respondents considered phishing attacks, which target employee negligence through disguised malicious emails to be a serious security threat. This was followed by malware (54%) and ransomware (52%) as the most worrying security threats. The survey also revealed that 19% of Irish businesses have been held to ransom by a hacker, but the vast majority (78%) claim they would never pay it.
More than half (51%) of IT professionals still feel there is insufficient budget in their organisation for investing in new security infrastructure, suggesting many still have steps to take to fully protect their business.
Commenting on the research, Security specialist at DataSolutions, David Keating said, "Simply throwing more money at cyber security is not the answer to these new challenges. Organisations must adopt a strategic and targeted approach to effectively combat threats. Investing in current cybersecurity technology is a logical step for many, although one in five IT professionals admitting to using out-dated technology."
He added, "Irish businesses are starting to take a more mature approach to security and accept that it is very likely they will be hit by an emerging threat. Hackers are always going to be one step ahead, so it is essential that companies have the right defence technology in place."
DataSolutions will host its sixth annual Secure Computing Forum in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Thursday, 20th September 2018. It is one of Ireland’s largest cybersecurity events and more than 400 IT and business professionals are expected to attend. This year’s forum will investigate whether the development of AI presents a silver bullet for cyber-security and look at the ongoing threat posed by ransomware.