Cyber Security Awareness Seminar – a wake up call to companies

Thomas McEvoy Local Enterprise Office Louth, Michael Gaynor President Dundalk Chamber and Aaron Carolan of PwC

Dundalk Chamber in association with the Local Enterprise Office Louth held a seminar on Cyber Security. Guest speaker was Aaron Carolan, Senior Manager in Cyber Security and Forensics at PwC. As businesses continue to grow so does the cyber risk!

The World Economic Forum rates Cyber Security as the third most likely global risk of 2018. It rates as the 6th highest impact global Risk. With growing technological enablers such as Internet of Things the attack surface will increase dramatically over time, increasing the risk likelihood even further.

Executives worldwide acknowledge the increasingly high stakes of cyber security. In the PwC 2018 Global State of Information Security® Survey (GSISS), leaders of organizations that use automation or robotics indicate their awareness of the potentially significant fallout of cyberattacks. Forty percent of survey respondents cite the disruption of operations as the biggest potential consequence of a cyberattack, 39% cite the compromise of sensitive data, 32% cite harm to product quality, 29% cite damage to physical property, and 22% cite harm to human life.
Yet despite this awareness, many companies at risk of cyberattacks remain unprepared to deal with them. Forty-four percent of the 9,500 executives in 122 countries surveyed by the 2018 PwC GSISS say they do not have an overall information security strategy. Forty-eight percent say they do not have an employee security awareness training program, and 54% say they do not have an incident-response process. Many organizations need to evaluate their digital risk and focus on building resilience for the inevitable.

Tools for conducting cyberattacks are proliferating worldwide. Smaller nations are aiming to develop capabilities like those used by larger countries. And the leaking of US National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tools has made highly sophisticated capabilities available to malicious hackers. When cyberattacks occur, most victimized companies say they cannot clearly identify the culprits. In the 2018 PwC GSISS, only 39% of survey respondents say they are very confident in their attribution capabilities.

It is estimated that Cybercrime costs the Irish economy €630 million annually. €137,500 is the average cost of a security breach in Ireland. The frequency of cyber-attacks against Irish Businesses has risen from 25% in 2012 to 44% currently, considerably higher that the global average of 32%. From 25th of May 2018, GDPR fines and potential multi party action lawsuits for compensation will be introduced that may further increase the average cost associated with data breaches. Numerous statistics report that up to 60% of small businesses close down within 6 months of a data breach.
Cyber Attacks are very much in the news at present and with this in mind guest speaker Aaron Carolan of PwC highlighted the dangers for companies, what they should do to prevent an attack and the importance of being prepared to deal react when attack does occur. The high attendance at the event was a testament to just how important it is to address this risk.

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