The total cost of cybercrime to Ireland’s economy is estimated at €630m (US$864m) per year, according to an analysis report by business advisory firm Grant Thornton.
The report’s authors found there has been a marked increase in the number of data breaches in Ireland. However, incidents are typically under-reported to the government because companies fear that their reputation will be adversely affected should they disclose a failure.
“Cybersecurity is a growing problem for Irish companies and imposes significant financial costs,” said Mike Harris, a partner at Grant Thornton’s Dublin office. “Our estimate of €630m is likely to be below the actual level given that many companies still do not report security breaches for fear of the reputational damage it can cause.”
Examples of cybercrime activity common in Ireland include identity fraud, online scams, cyber theft and cyber extortion, according to the report. It also found that as networks are typically penetrated over the internet, the criminals involved are often not based in Ireland.
The report estimated that 55% of cybercrime activity is the work of international organised crime gangs typically operating in countries where regulation is weak.
The authors urged Irish businesses to focus their planned cybersecurity investments on the ability to detect and react to data security breaches.
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