Home » Digital Transformation » Cybersecurity must now be a key focus for all SMEs

David Curtin

Chief Executive, .IE

Cybercrime is on the rise. With companies fast-tracking digital transformation and implementing hybrid working models, cybersecurity measures must be put in place.

The digital transformation of our economy and society has been monumental. With Covid-19 acting as a catalyst, the rate of digital acceleration forced businesses to quickly adapt the way they operate, communicate and sell to meet changing consumer needs. According to Microsoft, the digitalisation of the Irish economy could be worth within the region of €300 billion in 2023. The remote working experience has also been enhanced and seen as a benefit of the pandemic.

Rising cybercrime

With companies fast-tracking their digital transformation and implementing hybrid working models with remote working staff, cybersecurity is a major concern.

Cybercriminals are becoming more aggressive in their use of automated tools to exploit vulnerabilities. This was seen through the ransomware attack on the Health Service Executive in 2021 that caused its systems in Ireland to shut down. Phishing is a daily occurrence, with cybercriminals tapping into the vulnerabilities of citizens through text messages in an effort to extract bank details and launching malware attempts on business websites that process payments from the public.

Cybercriminals are becoming more aggressive in their use of automated tools to exploit vulnerabilities.

A trusted pathway to the internet

As guardians of Ireland’s critical internet infrastructure — the .ie namespace — we take steps to keep the domain safe. This ensures that the level of threat to .ie websites is lower than other top-level domains, such as .com.

Along with validating domain applicants’ identity and their connection to Ireland, we have also established consumer protection protocols with the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau and national regulatory bodies to address online illegality and permit ‘take-down’ of .ie websites under certain circumstances. We achieved industry standard ISO 27001 security certification, which ensures that an organisation manages and mitigates its cybersecurity risks effectively.

In addition, we employ Netcraft, which provides cybercrime monitoring and disruption services. These services allow us to proactively respond to online abuse issues, such as .ie websites that are hosting malware, phishing or botnets. This is invaluable as it helps innocent victims, such as SMEs, who might be unaware that they have experienced a cyberattack on their website. Once notified, our Registrar partners work with customers to take the required remediation.

Implementing preventative measures

Ireland’s accelerated digital transformation must be accompanied by behavioural changes, tools, procedures and appropriate protection measures capable of extending security to digital operations and remote workers to maintain safe operations. Recent communications from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provide invaluable advice to SMEs.

To read more, visit: www.weare.ie/blog / www.weare.ie

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