Cybercrime against Irish business on the rise

PwC finds almost half of companies surveyed experienced crime over the last two years

New research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) suggests crime against business is on the rise. It also suggests cybercrime is the top form of crime against Irish businesses, and is twice as prevalent here as the international average.

In its Irish Economic Crime and Fraud report, PwC finds that almost half of the 77 companies surveyed have experienced some form of crime over the last two years since it last conducted the survey, up from 34 per cent in 2016.

Of these, more than 60 per cent had experienced cybercrime, including phishing attacks and malware. This compares to the 29 per cent who said they had experienced “asset misappropriation”, the next most prevalent economic crime.

The businesses surveyed said they expected the levels of cybercrime to increase further over the next two years.


Two-thirds of those surveyed responded that the total cost of the most serious crime committed against them was less than €810,000. However, about one-in-10 claimed they had been hit for in excess of €4 million. A further fifth said the cost of the crime could not be measured.

Combat fraud

Although Irish businesses apparently have experienced cybercrime more often than companies surveyed internationally, local businesses do more to combat fraud. More than half had increased their anti-fraud spending over the last two years, versus four-in-10 globally.

"As the value of transactions over the internet increases exponentially year-on-year, fraudsters are turning to new ways of redirecting funds and are successfully achieving their goals," said Pat Moran, the PwC partner in charge of its cybercrime unit.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times