Study finds spike in ransomware attacks on Irish firms

48% of companies said that would not pay cyber criminals under any circumstances...

Study finds spike in ransomware attacks on Irish firms

A man uses the illuminated keyboard of a laptop | Image: Silas Stein/DPA/PA Images

A new study has found that 20% of Irish businesses have suffered cyber attacks in the past 12 months which involved criminals requesting ransom payments.

57% of organisations noted an increase in the number of security incidents in the past year according to a survey of 170 senior IT professionals and decision makers in Ireland, which was commissioned by information security company Ward Solutions.

Interestingly, of those who were held to ransom, 64% said that the amount demanded by cyber criminals was less than €1,000.

Only 14% said that they would pay the ransom if the value of the data merited it, while 48% said that they would not pay under any circumstances.

Three-quarters would report data incidents to authorities, including the Data Commissioner, if they suffered an attack.

Pat Larkin, CEO, Ward Solutions, said: "It’s reassuring to see some organisations responding to the information threat by investing in their security protection, and employee training and auditing. The ‘human firewall’ is consistently one of your greatest strengths or weaknesses when it comes to protecting your information.

"However, the results indicate that there is still room for improvement when it comes to reporting security incidents to the authorities and affected third parties. This will hamper companies’ ability to achieve GDPR (new EU data regulations) compliance, and so organisations need to ensure that they have the systems in place to quickly and effectively react in the wake of a data breach."