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Cyber-security remains a priority for Irish businesses, with almost half likely to increase investment in risk mitigation

Grant Thornton’s latest International Business Report highlights growing risks associated with cyber attacks.

Cyber-security remains a priority for many Irish businesses, with almost half planning to increase spending on cyber-security controls in 2023. The latest Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) found that 48% of business leaders in Ireland plan on increasing spending on cyber controls throughout the year. In addition, 52% said they have introduced or upgraded new risk testing measures over the last 12 months, highlighting the necessity of cyber-security controls.

Despite almost half of surveyed businesses recognising the importance of cyber investment, a significant number do not intend to invest, with 11% citing resource constraints, and 18% believing other areas of their businesses need investment instead. These figures reflect the juggling act companies are facing, with rising costs of doing business and global economic instability, making it more difficult for companies to invest in cyber protections. Meanwhile, almost one fifth of businesses believe they have adequate resources in place, showing confidence in the measures they have invested in thus far.

Commenting on the publication of the latest IBR figures, Mike Harris, Partner in Forensics and Cyber at Grant Thornton Ireland said,

“The latest IBR figures reflect the increased challenges facing Irish businesses with regards to cyber-security. It is encouraging to see that 48% of the businesses surveyed intend on increasing investment over the next 12 months, and that 52% have reported upgrading their controls and testing in the past year.

However, it is also worrying to see many businesses not planning further investment. The risks associated with ransomware attacks are higher than ever, particularly when considering the geopolitical climate. Businesses across the board need to be aware of threats and disruption as well as costs associated with dealing with breaches. The recent attack on Munster Technological University reflects the urgent need for businesses to invest in this area, and that no industry is immune from threat.”

Grant Thornton’s cost of cybercrime report in 2022 showed that one in three small to medium businesses in Ireland fell victim to cybercrime between May 2021 and April 2022. One in three were also reported to have paid out to cybercriminals, with €22,773 the average pay-out.  It also found that the estimated cost of cybercrime to be €9.6 billion, supporting the fact that businesses need to be aware of the threat.

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