European survey reveals Irish businesses are seeing the biggest increase in cybersecurity attacks

Dublin : CWSI, Ireland’s most experienced modern workplace security and compliance specialist, is today announcing the results of a new pan-European survey which has found thatIrish businesses are seeing the biggest increase in cybersecurity attacks. Over half (54%) of Irish organisations have seen a rise in cybersecurity breach attempts in the last year, the highest in Europe, compared to 42% on average for European counterparts.

Furthermore, over 1 in 10 (12%) Irish organisations have fallen victim to a phishing attack on a mobile device in the last 12 months. Phishing is perceived to be the highest cybersecurity threat in Ireland (76%), followed by human error (58%) and ransomware (46%).

CWSI, as part ofthe Enterprise Mobility Expert Alliance Group (EMEA), carried out a survey of business and IT leaders in the group’s member countries of Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. Centred around mobile and remote working practices, 93 of the 329 survey respondents were based in Ireland. The EMEA Group is the largest group of mobility experts in Europe.

Over half (55%) of Irish businesses perceive security to be the most important factor when it comes to digital workplace/remote working over the next 12 months, the highest in Europe, versus 45% of European respondents. More than a third of Europeans (35%) said that security issues are one of the biggest challenges of home working (this rises to 42% in Ireland).

However, just two-thirds (68%) of Irish organisations have carried out mobile security awareness training, and just a third (35%) carry out regular penetration and vulnerability tests for mobile devices. Nevertheless, 86% of companies in Ireland are confident in their ability to secure company data on remote devices, ahead of European counterparts on 73%.

In Ireland, just 35% of IT and business leaders believed that remote working technologies were important pre-Covid – that’s now jumped to 97%. Just over half (51%) of Irish organisations who have adopted remote working as part of their digital workplace strategy believe it is suitable for permanent remote working, and three-quarters of Irish respondents’ workforces are capable of remote working post-Covid. Improving the employee experience is a key factor for driving remote working strategies for 91% of Irish respondents.

Only 32% of Irish organisations enlist external IT providers, with half doing so because they lack the internal capacity, and 43% because of a lack of internal skills.

The full results and analysis of the survey are available to download as part of a new report by the EMEA Group called ‘Tomorrow’s Digital Workplace’.

Ronan Murphy, CEO, CWSI: “This survey has shone a light on work practices across Europe and has allowed us to observe how we in Ireland fare against our European counterparts.

“As the country which has seen the biggest increase in cybersecurity attacks, it’s clear that with the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, more needs to be done here to futureproof organisations’ cybersecurity infrastructure. There has also been a worrying amount of Irish businesses falling victim to a phishing attack on mobile devices over the past year.

“Many business and IT leaders are over-confident in their ability to protect data from loss or theft, without the necessary security measures to back this up, and there is a clear disparity and false sense of security here which needs to be addressed. Our survey also found that organisations fail to make the best use of all available features on their existing security and management solutions.

“Improving the employee experience is a key factor for driving remote working strategies for most Irish businesses, which in turn, leads to more engaged, productive and loyal employees. While just over half of Irish organizations are able to facilitate permanent remote working, many more will have to come on board as working from home is here to stay for a growing cohort of employees and businesses. 

“Meanwhile, companies are relying heavily on internal IT skills and resources, and we are surprised that just a third are looking to external providers for support. Leveraging the expertise of a managed IT service provider can reduce unnecessary strain and free up staff to focus on their key duties, especially in the face of reduced visibility in the digital workplace.”

Breanainn Mac Phaidin

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