50% of Irish organisations lack cyber security “agility, budget and skills”

Hacker typing on a laptopThe global shortage of skilled cyber security professionals – projected by Cisco to reach between 500,000 and 1,000,000 globally in the foreseeable future – is having an effect in Ireland. Ernst & Young’s recently released 2014 Global Information Security survey, Get ahead of cybercrime, reports that “50% of Irish organisations have no real-time insight on cyber risks” and lack “the agility, budget and skills to combat rising cybercrime”.

This shortage of agility, budget and skills means that “47% of Irish organisations believe it unlikely they would be able to detect a sophisticated cyber attack”. And despite 82% of Irish respondents saying that their security spending would increase over the next year, over 50% still say that budgetary issues affect cyber crime more than any other.

Data breaches continue to dominate the headlines in Ireland. To pick but a handful of recent examples:

  • New Beginning, a group set up to help those with mortgage difficulties, accidentally leaked a database containing the names and bank details of over 1,000 customers to a commercial partner.
  • Irish Water has been criticised, having leaked its customers’ bank details not once but twice in the last few months.
  • The University of Limerick was reported to the Data Protection Commissioner after having published grant application details – including parents’ incomes and student bank account details – on its website.

And it’s not just data breaches that are affecting information. Cyber warfare is also having an impact in Ireland. According to Symantec, 9% of global Regin – the recently discovered spying malware – attacks occur in Ireland, putting the country behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia. This high incidence of attack could be related to the number of technology companies in the country.

Dublin enjoys a reputation as the Silicon Valley of Europe thanks to the large number of multinationals – including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Hewlett Packard and Intel – that are taking advantage of Ireland’s low corporate tax rate.

Many companies – including Aon, Dropbox and FireEye – are currently hiring cyber security professionals. If you want to take advantage of the shortage of skilled professionals in Ireland, and benefit from good career prospects and an attractive salary (information security analysts can earn on average €40,000 per year, information security engineers €60,000, and information security architects €90,000), then you should consider respected industry certifications, such as the ISO27001 Certified ISMS Lead Implementer (CIS LI) qualification.

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