Num­ber of cy­ber at­tacks on Ir­ish com­pa­nies more than dou­bles

The Irish Times - Business - - TECHNOLOGY - CIARA O’BRIEN

The num­ber of tar­geted cy­ber at­tacks have more than dou­bled in Ire­land in the past year, but com­pa­nies are iden­ti­fy­ing the at­tacks more quickly, new re­search from Ac­cen­ture has found.

The study found that 31 per cent of com­pa­nies are de­tect­ing three out of four at­tempted at­tacks com­pared with 8 per cent in 2017. The rate of suc­cess­ful at­tacks dropped from 30 per cent to 13 per cent over the pe­riod. More than half said it of­ten took up to seven days to de­tect a breach; a third didn’t dis­cover the prob­lem un­til weeks later.

Ac­cen­ture’s 2018 State of Cy­ber Re­silience re­port found se­cu­rity teams were iden­ti­fy­ing 70 per cent of at­tempted at­tacks.

In­creased re­port­ing

Part of that suc­cess was down to in­creased re­port­ing by em­ploy­ees out­side the cy­ber se­cu­rity teams. How­ever, although em­ploy­ees played a role in de­tect­ing the at­tacks, they also con­trib­uted to some of them. The re­search found among the high­est fre­quency at­tacks were in­ter­nal breaches and ac­ci­den­tally pub­lished in­for­ma­tion.

The vast ma­jor­ity of Ir­ish com­pa­nies said in­ter­nal at­tacks were the most fre­quent, and more than half said th­ese at­tacks had the great­est im­pact on their busi­ness. In terms of fre­quency, hack­ers were in se­cond place at 49 per cent. Ac­ci­den­tally pub­lished in­for­ma­tion was third at 41 per cent.

Ir­ish se­cu­rity pro­fes­sion­als were found to be above av­er­age in cy­ber se­cu­rity ca­pa­bil­i­ties iden­ti­fied by Ac­cen­ture, demon­strat­ing high-per­form­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in 23 of the 33 iden­ti­fied by the com­pany, which was above the global av­er­age of 19.

Se­ri­ous im­pact

How­ever, suc­cess­ful at­tacks still had a se­ri­ous im­pact on busi­nesses. Sixty-two per cent had ex­pe­ri­enced loss of IT ser­vices be­cause of a breach, with 40 per cent suf­fer­ing fi­nan­cial loss and 42 per cent re­port­ing a loss of op­er­a­tional ser­vices. “Ir­ish busi­nesses have def­i­nitely built up their cy­ber re­silience, with only one in eight fo­cused cy­ber at­tacks now get­ting through,” said Chris Davey, se­cu­rity as­so­ciate direc­tor at Ac­cen­ture in Ire­land.

“How­ever, with the num­ber of at­tempted breaches no­tably on the rise, con­tin­ued vig­i­lance and fur­ther in­vest­ment in this im­por­tant se­cu­rity area is re­quired.”

Com­pa­nies are also tak­ing cy­ber se­cu­rity more se­ri­ously, with al­most half say­ing a ma­jor in­vest­ment had been made between six months and a year ago, and a third ex­pect­ing to in­crease cy­ber se­cu­rity spend over the next three years.

The study, which was con­ducted from Jan­uary to mid-March 2018, and sur­veyed more than 4,600 se­nior en­ter­prise se­cu­rity prac­ti­tion­ers in 15 coun­tries.

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