More than half of Irish SMEs have paid ransoms to cybercriminals

  • New research commissioned by Typetec, an Irish managed IT and cyber security solutions provider, has found that 52% of businesses  in Ireland have paid a ransom to a cybercriminal.

    The survey of more than 200 business owners in firms of up to 150 employees was commissioned by Typetec and conducted by independent research company, Censuswide.

    The research found that more than a quarter (27%) of those businesses who paid a ransom failed to have all affected data restored. Furthermore, 60% of business owners reported that sensitive data was leaked on the dark web despite paying a ransom.

    The average ransom amount paid by the businesses was €22,712.

    RELATED:Typetec announces new €1M partnership with Darktrace

    A majority (57%) of small business owners also revealed that they keep a cryptocurrency reserve in case they are needed to pay a ransom.

    When asked about their biggest fears in terms of cybersecurity, loss of customers (37%) ranked first, followed by loss of employees (34%) and sensitive data being made available on the dark web (33%). 

    In addition, more than a quarter (27%) of company owners fear going out of business in the event of a successful cyber-attack.

    Despite these findings and the increased awareness of ransomware and other security threats, only 39% of SMEs in Ireland consider themselves to be very well protected from cyber-attacks.

     RELATED: ANGOKA wins prestigious award at ITS World Congress

    Trevor Coyle, Chief Technology Officer, Typetec said: “With tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses operating here, this means staggering amounts of money – often in the form of cryptocurrencies - are being lost to cyber criminality. It’s a very worrying and unsustainable situation, when facing the short-term financial cost but the long term reputational and brand cost could be substantial.”

    Mr. Coyle also added: “As the survey results demonstrate, paying out ransoms in response to cyberattacks does not guarantee a successful restoration of data or systems, and it also encourages future attacks. It’s so important that business owners become proactive rather than reactive when it comes to protecting their customers, their employees and ultimately their businesses. These threats are not going away. A clearly defined and well managed cybersecurity strategy - particularly in an increasingly hybrid working world - is an absolute necessity for businesses of all sizes.”

    The survey was commissioned by Typetec and conducted by Censuswide in September 2021. With employee numbers of up to 150 people, 202 business owners from across Ireland were surveyed.

     Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story