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  • Global Reach
    Global Reach Global Reach

            Our 2014 report on Cybersecurity in Irelands examines the trends, costs, implications and legislative challenges facing Irish businesses. Data is increasingly playing an important part in the global economic landscape. As we seek to provide more efficient services or gain more meaningful insights into consumer behaviour, we are collecting and storing more and more information. This information has become a valuable commodity to many and as such the collection and use of this data is a growing area for the international community in terms of legislation and enforcement.

            In assessing the current state of cybercrime, we need to consider what exactly constitutes a cybercrime. The standard definition calls it “criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet”. However, it is difficult to distinguish between computer-based and computer-aided crimes.

            In this technologically driven age virtually any crime may have be aided or facilitated by technology, whether using a website to hire a hitman or using the internet to research a crime. We will not attempt to give a complete description of all cybercrimes, instead we focus on pervasive, large scale and automated types of data breaches where data (personal or otherwise) has been the subject to unauthorised access, collection, use or disclosure for monetary gain.

            Data is increasingly playing an important part in the global economic landscape. As we seek to provide more efficient services or gain more meaningful insights into consumer behaviour, we are collecting and storing more and more information. This information has become a valuable commodity to many and as such the collection and use of this data is a growing area for the international community in terms of legislation and enforcement.

            As this new economy continues to grow, so too does the associated shadow economy. Throughout this report we have identified the increasingly global nature of illicit trade, but it is especially relevant in the area of cybercrime. Recent high profile examples of personal data theft in Ireland and internationally has pushed the issue of data theft and cybercrime to the forefront of global debate.

            Many governments have in fact identified cyber security as one of the top threats to their country alongside natural disasters, international terrorism and military invasion.

            The development of ICT has broken down borders and technology continues to develop rapidly. However, the legislative and enforcement frameworks continue to lag behind making it difficult to prevent and track data breaches.

            The rise of cybercrime is not disputed. However the wide varieties of estimates, which range from a few billion euros to hundreds of billions, reflect the inherent difficulties in measuring the true economic impact.

            For Ireland with its focus on foreign direct investment, in particular in the areas of financial services and information technology, this will be a key battle ground against the growth of illicit trade to ensure that firms feel confident in the regulatory environment and government response that protects its strong reputation.

            In order to plan the appropriate level of resources for both governments and firms to fight cybercrime, we need to create a broader understanding of the importance of data and examine the key characteristics and drivers of the global and Irish markets for illegal data.

            Read the full report