Cyber attacks cost small firms €2.3bn in last three years
Smaller Irish firms have lost a collective €2.3bn to cyber attacks over the last three years.
lmost half (48.5pc) of the 250 firms surveyed by Vodafone Ireland and Microsoft Ireland reported multiple cyber breaches in the period.
The average loss per small or medium-sized business – those with between nine and 50 workers – was €8,500.
Four out of 10 firms (43pc) that reported a breach in the period said they had experienced up to five attacks.
Most businesses (60pc) feel unprepared for an attack, while 34pc have reduced their spend on cyber security as other costs bite.
Microsoft Ireland general manager Anne Sheehan said firms are slowing down their overall rate of digitalisation since the pandemic.
“Despite the many benefits of a digital strategy, it is still considered to be a low-to-medium priority for many companies,” she said
Sinéad Bryan, Vodafone Ireland Business managing director, said smaller firms “will have a need to invest in new technologies” if they want to succeed in overseas markets.
Research by cyber security firm Check Point found that Irish firms of all sizes experienced an average of 886 cyber attacks per week in the first six months of 2022, with healthcare the most targeted sector.
Another recent survey by IT services firm Typetec, looking at firms of up to 250 employees, found that a third paid ransoms to cyber criminals this year, at an average cost of €22,773.
A majority of firms in the Vodafone/Microsoft survey (60pc) said online selling now accounts for between 21pc and 50pc of revenue, with most saying digitalisation has brought productivity gains and increased sales.
A majority of small business owners expect to see growth in the next 12 months, and more than 40pc say they expect growth of between 25pc and 50pc, the survey said.
Just under a third (30pc) of small firms saw their business earnings after tax rise by between 20pc and 40pc in the last year.
Twice as many female-led businesses reported a revenue rise in the 20-40pc bracket as male-led firms (42pc of businesses led by females compared with 20.8pc of companies led by men).
And 65pc of business owners have reduced their debt levels in the last year.