04 Jul 2022

Cybercrime to cost the Irish economy €9.6bn, new report reveals

Cybercrime to cost the Irish economy €9.6bn, new report reveals

Estimated cost of €9.6bn from cybercrime to the Irish economy in 2020, report reveals. (Image: Shutterstock)

€9.6bn is the estimated cost of cybercrime to the Irish economy in 2020, according to new research conducted by Grant Thornton.

The report titled 'The Economic Cost of Cybercrime' was published by Grant Thornton’s Cyber Security team.

The report estimates the direct and indirect costs incurred due to cyber-attacks against businesses, individuals, and the government.

Head of Cyber Security Services at Grant Thornton Ireland, Mike Harris said many businesses and individuals are still grappling with how to insulate against this threat as it is a 'relatively new phenomenon'.

'Cybercriminals are innovative and opportunistic which means we also need to be innovative in how we mitigate against potential cyber-attack risks. Ransomware attacks, for example, were once targeted mainly at consumers but we now know businesses, organisations and governments are the main targets for these types of crimes." added Mr. Harris

The new analysis found that phishing and ransomware attacks, along with credit and debit card fraud, and operational technology-focused attacks have all increased significantly in recent years.

Ransomware attacks include cybercriminals demanding payment for the release of compromised materials, which was the most significant form of cybercrime noted in 2020.

Grant Thornton's report said that the €2bn costs of ransomware attacks in 2020 estimate the direct costs associated with these events i.e. ransoms paid, as well as indirect costs such as infrastructure and IT bills.

The new research found there was a 100% increase in computer viruses and a 20% increase in phishing attacks.

Director in Forensics & Cyber at Grant Thornton Ireland, Howard Shortt said it is time for businesses to review their processes and to test their IT and infrastructure for weaknesses to cyber-attack.

"Not carrying out these preventative measures could lead to large costs in the event of an attack in future." he added.

Grant Thornton first released a 'Cost of Cybercrime' report in 2014 revealing an overall cost to the economy of €630 million due to cybercrime.

The new figures have exponentially increased in the latest data.

More details on the report can be found here.

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