Irish News

Logicalis research shows 72% of CIOs see corporate extortion and ransomware as biggest security threat

By Business & Finance
14 June 2018
Andrew Baird, Logicalis Ireland
Andrew Baird, CEO, Logicalis Ireland (Photo: Philip Leonard (Leonard Photography))

A Logicalis Ireland survey shows that CIOs see corporate extortion and ransomware as the biggest threats of 2018. The survey took in 890 CIOs across 23 countries.

Survey findings

According to the survey, 72% of CIOs saw corporate extortion and ransomware as the biggest risk to businesses. Coming in in second was attacks targeting corporate systems and application vulnerabilities (60%). Significant responses were also sophisticated social engineering attacks (58%), identity and credential hijacking (43%) and malicious insiders (30%).

Barriers to digital transformation was also a theme discussed in the survey. It found that 56% of respondents see organisational culture (56%), cost (50%), complex legacy technology (44%) and a lack of skills (34%) as the major contributing factors.

What can CIOs do?

Chief information officers (CIOs) play a key role in all things data and information related within an organisation, with a distinct link to aspects such as technology, information and communications technology (ICT) and technical architecture.

In April, Business & Finance launched the CIO 100 listing, highlighting the top 100 CIOs in Ireland from a diverse set of sectors within the technology industry.

Among these are security architects, protecting firms against malicious attacks and potentially detrimental infiltrations into company structures. This is done through developing security portfolios and acting upon them.

Examples of security

A key Irish company in the field of cybersecurity is Magnet Networks. Their initiative Magnet Protect offers network security against threats that companies are not accustomed to and/or not prepared for.

James Canty, Director of Product & Pre-Sales at Magnet Networks, said:

As the threat landscape has evolved dramatically over the last number of years, what we’re seeing is traditional anti-virus solutions and traditional-based firewalls don’t offer the level of protection that’s needed in today’s world.

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He continued: “[Magnet Networks] did a piece of research last year, and based on the sample size we took, we estimate that as many as 171,000 – specifically small businesses – are extremely vulnerable to the types of cyberattacks that are becoming more and more increasingly prevalent today.”

This highlights further what is stated in the Logicalis research, where 72% of respondents of the 890 saw corporate extortion and ransomware as the biggest risk to businesses. Magnet Networks’ research seems to suggest compnaies are not ready to tackle this.

Seeing the value in technology-based security

Andrew Baird, CEO, Logicalis Ireland, commented:

It has never been more important for businesses to focus on security. 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.

He continued: “It’s vital that organisations take the necessary steps to help protect their infrastructure and assets against cyberattacks. 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.”

A third of CIOs have stated that security concerns have led to the cancellation of IT projects within their organisations and that security is one of the major barriers in embracing digital transformation.

Irish CIOs are more and more seeing the value of IT in delivering on business goals, with more than a quarter already using the Internet of Things (IoT).