Businesses at risk of hacking, survey finds

Hackers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to steal password

Irish businesses are at risk from attack by malicious users as hackers turn to increasingly sophisticated methods to steal passwords, a new survey has said.

According to the research from RSA, the majority of attacks on businesses - about 70 per cent - employ social engineering methods such as phishing to gain confidential data, targeting users instead of systems.

Phishing attacks fool users into thinking they are using a genuine app or have received an authentic email, encouraging them to hand over passwords and other confidential information.

Security expert Bob Griffin, who is chief security architect at RSA, the Security Division of EMC, said firms need to adopt an intelligence-driven approach to security.


“A cyberattack can have long-lasting consequences for a business. Aside from the obvious damage to day-to-day operations, a major breach can cause permanent, irreversible damage to reputation and customer trust,” said Mr Griffin. “Irish businesses need to understand that a cyberattack is a matter of when, not if.”

Among the “security hygiene” recommendations are using unique passwords and keeping software updated to reduce the risk of attack.

Mr Griffin’s warning came ahead of a special cybersecurity workshop for participants in the IMI’s Digital Business Master’s degree at UCC on Friday.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

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