Irish businesses fear online attacks, but few plan cybersecurity investment

Less than half of business leaders say their company is ‘adequately prepared’ for cybersecurity breach

Less than half of Irish business leaders are confident that their company is adequately prepared for a potential cyber breach, a new survey has found.

The research, from Irish IT service provider Auxilion, found more than a third of businesses were the victims of cyberattacks in 2022, and 44 per cent said they believe their organisation will be hit by a breach in 2023.

However, despite these fears, only a fifth said they will invest in cybersecurity solutions this year.

The survey, which questioned 100 C-suite executives in larger companies or enterprises across the country, found 42 per cent don’t have the skills in-house to deal with a cyberattack, while 41 per cent said their cybersecurity budget was inadequate to protect against the risks.


A third said they don’t believe their leadership team or board is doing everything what it can to safeguard the company’s digital assets and data, and only 36 per cent of business leaders think their organisation upholds governance adequately.

Some 43 per cent have had to abandon a project, with the average cost of failed IT projects last year at just under €841,000.

“The survey highlights the need for organisations to identify and implement IT strategies which directly support business goals and address concerns – some of which could prove, or are already proving, to be quite costly,” said Phillip Maguire, Auxilion chief executive. “Not only are companies facing the possibility of cyber breaches due to inadequate safeguards, but failed IT projects are also impacting the bottom line. That’s not to mention the worries business leaders have around plugging the skills gap and achieving company objectives.”

However, there were some positives in the survey. Half of businesses carry out a self-assessment of performance relating to governance or compliance every year. Some 44 per cent use a managed services provider for this, with around the clock assistance, cost savings and the skills gap among the top reasons for opting for a third aprty.

“Organisations really need to look at what digital solutions and services they can deploy today to overcome such obstacles and capitalise on potential opportunities,” said Mr Maguire. “As well as rectifying the areas of poor governance and inadequate cybersecurity, these technologies can also boost efficiency, support productivity and drive growth.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist