Irish firms pay highest cost from cyber-attacks, study finds

Hiscox report found 6.5% of Irish firms had paid a ransom following ransomware attack
Image: Stockfresh

23 June 2020

A global study has revealed that Irish firms suffer the highest median cost from cyber-attacks, at €91,860.

The research, which was commissioned by Hiscox insurance, found that 41% of 335 Irish firms studied had experienced at least one cyberattack event over a six-month period. Cyber incidents and breaches cost these companies over €113 million, with one unnamed Irish company suffering total cyber losses of €17.8 million. While this was the second lowest figure total of the eight countries surveyed, Ireland had the highest median cost.

The report also claimed that 6.5% of Irish firms paid a ransom following a ransomware attack. 




The most heavily targeted sectors were financial services, manufacturing and technology, media and telecoms with 44% of firms in each sector reporting at least one incident or breach.

Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, which now in its fourth year, surveyed a representative sample of private and public sector organisations in the US, UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Ireland. Firms were assessed on their cyber security strategy and execution and ranked accordingly. 

Irish companies are ahead for most cyber spending categories for the coming year, the report found,  and by some margin in enhancing disaster recovery capabilities, improving the security of customer-facing services and apps, and enhancing top management engagement in cyber policies and procedures.

Additionally, Ireland tops the table for the percentage of companies expressing confidence in their IT and security readiness (70% and 66% respectively). At 38%, Irish companies were also found to be the most likely to have a standalone cyber insurance policy.

“To have an Irish snapshot in the Hiscox global survey on Cyber Readiness gives us a great insight,” said Patrick Mettler, head of sales and distribution for Hiscox Insurance Ireland. “It is shocking to see so many Irish companies suffering a cyber-attack and likewise the number of businesses that have paid a ransom following a malware infection is chilling. 

“There is, however, one very positive message from this year’s report. There is clear evidence of a step-change in cyber preparedness, with enhanced levels of activity and spending. Take-up of standalone cyber insurance remains patchy, but this report is a reminder that firms are many times more likely to have a cyber incident than either a fire or a theft – for which most automatically insure.” 

According to a statement from Hiscox, the global picture for Cyber Readiness is more encouraging. While losses increased, the proportion of businesses targeted fell from 61% to 39%. Cyber losses among businesses targeted in the past year have risen nearly six-fold, from a median €8,900 per firm to €50,732. But there are signs that firms are responding with more rigorous security measures and higher spending, to combat the loss, which increased by 39%. 

TechCentral Reporters

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