CIOs in fear of extortion and ransomware

Ransomware
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11 June 2018 | 0

Nearly three quarters (72%) of CIOs globally have named corporate extortion and ransomware as the most significant risks to businesses, according to a survey by Logicalis.

The global survey of some 900 CIOs from 23 countries, including Ireland, found that closely following the threats of corporate extortion and ransomware, are attacks targeting corporate systems and application vulnerabilities (60%), followed by increasingly sophisticated social engineering attacks (58%), and identity and credential hijacking (43%). The old chestnut of malicious insiders was highlighted by less than a third (30%) of respondents.

The survey found that one in three CIOs admitted that their concerns over security has led to either the curtailment or cancellation of IT projects, and that security is emerging as one of the main stumbling blocks for digital transformation initiatives.

“Irish companies may not realise that they are leaving themselves vulnerable to serious threats such as corporate extortion and credential hijacking, the results of which could be catastrophic,” Andrew Baird, CEO, Logicalis Ireland

“It has never been more important for businesses to focus on security,” said Andrew Baird, CEO, Logicalis Ireland. “Irish companies may not realise that they are leaving themselves vulnerable to serious threats such as corporate extortion and credential hijacking, the results of which could be catastrophic.”

Other barriers for digital transformation were also identified, such as organisational culture (56%), cost (50%), complex legacy technology (44%), and a lack of skills (34%). Overall, the survey found that there has been slow progress in this area over the last year, with only 5% of CIOs considering their organisations to be digital innovators.

Regardless of these factors, the survey says that CIOs have expressed plans to press on with digital enablement, with just one in 10 (11%) having no desire for transformation. Furthermore, more than half plan to replace and/or adapt existing infrastructure and an equal amount hope to bring about culture change, while more than a third aim to address skill shortages with increasing training and development, and 31% expect to invest in extra security capabilities.

Here, according to the survey, CIOs see the value of IT in delivering business outcomes as very important, with more than a quarter already using the Internet of Things. The fact that many are seeing benefits is also positive, with the majority noting the improvement of operations as a key advantage.

“It’s vital that organisations take the necessary steps to help protect their infrastructure and assets against cyberattacks,” said Baird. “This will also provide them with the confidence they need to fully embrace digital transformation, something which is needed, with only 5% of CIOs considering their businesses to be digital innovators.

“However, this is an area where Irish companies should, and can, look to steal a lead on their international counterparts, with over a quarter of Irish organisations having already implemented Internet of Things solutions. Hopefully, we are on the right track to digital enablement,” he said.

 

 

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