In Ireland, despite widespread visibility of data breaches and security threats, strong data protection is often treated as an afterthought within many organizations. Recent studies have shown that more than half of Irish organizations anticipate a rise in breaches this year, but less than 40% claim a comprehensive understanding of their third-party risks. Meanwhile, businesses continue to create, share, store, use and manage an ever-increasing volume of sensitive digital information, raising the stakes and the surface of potential vulnerabilities.
The risks have also been exacerbated by the rapid introduction of new tools and systems to enable and support the transition to remote and hybrid working. However, these new elements were not always vetted thoroughly, ultimately making it easier for threat actors to successfully penetrate systems and exploit sensitive information. Since the beginning of 2020, there have been several high-profile data breaches in Ireland. For example, Ireland’s Health Service Executive suffered a widespread, severe data breach midway through 2021, the effects of which are still being felt on numerous fronts. An Irish technology company suffered a $50m ransomware attack last year and the number of GDPR-related complaints filed with authorities in Ireland has risen steadily over the past two years.