Three-quarters of Irish firms increased cybersecurity after WannaCry incident

A survey has found that 73% of companies have made changes to their IT security as a direct result of the WannaCry ransomware incident.

In May, approximately 200,000 computers in 150 countries, including Ireland, were infected by the unprecedented WannaCry ransomware attack.

Despite widespread upgrades to Irish security systems since the attack, DataSolutions found that a significant 30% of respondents still don’t think that their organisation is capable of protecting itself against emerging threats.

As companies remain ill-equipped to tackle cyber threats, the survey results indicate that ransomware remains an issue for Irish organisations.

When asked if they had been held to ransom in the past 12 months, 19% of survey respondents stated that they had.

If held to ransom, 19% of Irish businesses would pay up to €50,000 to recover their data from cybercriminals. This is a substantial increase from a similar survey carried out by DataSolutions 17 months ago, when just 7% said that they would pay a ransom.

"The results of this year’s survey highlight that ransomware remains an effective weapon for cybercriminals seeking to extract money from Irish businesses," said David Keating, security specialist with DataSolutions.

"Ransomware attacks are a very disruptive form of cybercrime , and, as the recent WannaCry and Petya outbreaks made clear, they pose a huge threat to organisations of all types and sizes. Companies need to take steps to implement tried and tested security systems to secure their interests, or risk facing further attacks.

"Considering the numbers stating that they have been held to ransom in the past 12 months, we can infer that that a significant number of organisations that fall victim to cybercrime are paying out to cybercriminals."


 

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