How cyberattacks are changing the working world

Addressing the shift in tech purchasing caused by cyber threats, Adrian McInerney from Samsung reveals how businesses are adapting.

In May 2021, in the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, terms like “ransomware”, “phising” and “cybersecurity” were rapidly catapulted into the Irish lexicon when large private and public sector organisations suffered major cybercrime attacks this year.

For the first time, businesses, employees, customers and consumers alike became aware of the damaging consequences of cyber-attacks and the need for increased security around their electronic devices. Many small and medium enterprises quickly realised that their cyber security was inadequate, and it urgently needed to be pushed to the top of their business agenda.

“With large numbers of workers now completing daily tasks at home, in coffee shops or on the train, cybersecurity needs to be adaptable, mobile and durable”

The recent high-profile attacks on large private and public sector organisations and the newfound concerns for cybersecurity were compounded by the ongoing pandemic. For the first time, vast numbers of employees were working from home on a full time or hybrid basis.

Since cybercrime has become much more prevalent – in the last 12 months three in five SMEs in Ireland have experienced a cyber-attack. A fifth of these attacks were data breaches while 17% of SMEs experienced phishing attacks.

Mobile creates a new gateway into a company network

With large numbers of workers now completing daily tasks at home, in coffee shops or on the train, cybersecurity needs to be adaptable, mobile and durable – as standard as a decent camera on your phone. Each employee who works from home presents a new gateway into a company’s network and so cyber security must be universal across all devices and completely secure.

The way we work has undoubtedly altered since March 2020, with many employees experiencing changing values with a greater desire for more flexible, on-the-go working. This shift has been recognised by Irish SMEs, with two thirds finding the ability to work on the go a key benefit of their mobile device. Similarly, almost a third of business leaders agreed they would like one device that could cater for both lifestyles.

This change in working habits is also putting more emphasis on interconnectivity between devices. Over half of business leaders surveyed said they want a work device that connects seamlessly with their other electronic items. Adding to this, almost half of those surveyed said they want their mobile phone to work with multiple apps on screen at once. This new approach to working means that functionality across work life and social life is a key priority.

However, this change in lifestyle, new preferences and demands from consumers and rise in cybercrime has made us more concerned about our electronic footprint. Almost 60% of employees are concerned about their built-in mobile protection and see their mobile security is a key consideration. A balance needs to be struck that ensures our electronic devices carrying sensitive data are secure but can also be used outside the office and on the go.

To achieve this balance, a combined effort between the technology itself, the people using it and the process implemented is necessary. As such, there is undoubtedly a correlation between businesses purchasing decisions and their shift to working on-the-go. More than 32% of Irish SMEs are upgrading their work smartphones every 18 months and consumers are seeking out devices that will suit the new work habits, including more portable technology for working on the move and enhanced productivity features.

At Samsung, we have listened to the demands of our consumers, their changing lifestyle and priorities and the need for enhanced security.

This year, Samsung launched its Galaxy Z Fold 4 which is unmatched in terms of productivity and multi-tasking. With an immersive expansive display that folds out into a 7.6” screen, it allows you to have multiple apps open on screen at the onetime to allow for the ultimate mobile working experience.

We have developed a security and management framework called Knox that provides a security foundation on all Samsung devices including our latest Foldable range; the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Adrian McInerney
Adrian McInerney is the General Manager of Samsung Enterprise Business in Ireland. With over 25 years’ experience in the technology industry, Adrian started his career in Dell where he worked for a number of years leading in sales development. In his current role, Adrian leads a team working with businesses to develop their tech offering, helping Irish companies boost productivity through their technology usage.