95% of Irish SMEs were hit by cyberattacks in past year

Most common attacks were phishing, ransomware and malware.

A whopping 95% Irish small and medium-sized businesses experienced a cyberattack over the past year.

A survey commissioned by Typetec and conducted by Censuswide outlines the views of more than 200 Irish business owners in firms of up to 150 employees.

“Most businesses are fully aware that attacks are likely to become even more targeted and sophisticated this year”

It found that the most common cyberattacks were phishing (40% of Irish SMBs experienced at least one attack), followed by ransomware (38%) and malware (35%).

Increased spend on cybersecurity

The research shows that a significant majority of small businesses (71%) increased spend on their cybersecurity budgets in 2021 and that the average cybersecurity budget for SMBs in 2022 is €117,209.

When asked for the key reasons behind increasing cybersecurity budgets, business owners cited the management of remote working (44%) as a main factor, as well as an increasing concern about cyberattacks (44%) and lack of visibility of devices being used for work purposes (41%).

Despite the increasing number of cyberattacks, only 60% of SMB owners say they have a strong understanding of cybersecurity threats.

Furthermore, more than two thirds (69%) of small and medium-sized business owners believe that the government should provide more funding and support to help protect SMBs against rising cybercrime threats.

This comes as 64% of respondents think that their businesses are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than their international counterparts.

“Cybercriminals find small and medium sized businesses attractive targets because they have valuable information, and they often lack the security infrastructure of larger companies,” said Trevor Coyle, CEO of Typetec.

“Our research found that a staggering 95% of SMBs in Ireland experienced a cyber-attack in the past year. This shows how vital it is for businesses of all sizes to adopt a robust cybersecurity strategy and defence.

“While 2021 saw a continued rise in cybercrime, most businesses are fully aware that attacks are likely to become even more targeted and sophisticated this year. Everything needs to be done to support smaller businesses in particular, who can often be more exposed due to lack of in-house expertise and resources.”

Coyle said that the majority of SMB owners feel that the government should also be helping them to tackle these rising threat levels.

“It’s a valid argument as the government fail to realise the risk posed by a supply chain attack to its agencies with SMBs forming a link in that chain. Ultimately, it’s a battle that can be won if all stakeholders work together and put proactive measures in place to follow best practice advice and mitigate against these growing risks,” Coyle warned.

Main image: Trevor Coyle, CEO, Typetec

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.