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IRISSCERT Warns Irish Businesses Under Increasing Threat of Cybercrime

Speaking about the report Brian Honan head of IRISSCERT said “This year has seen a significant change in the threat landscape for Irish businesses. We still have the traditional threats of computer virus infections, security breaches, website defacements and hijacking to host malware or phishing sites. However, this year we are seeing a trend in the use of Denial of Service attacks against organisations. Some of these attacks can be attributed to hacktivist activity, but for others the motive is not so clear and could be criminal elements looking to extort businesses. We also see an increase in reports of companies’ systems been subjected to ransonware, which in some cases has seen demands for up to €3,000.”

Ransomware is where criminals infect a company’s network with malicious software. This malicious software renders the company’s backups unusable and then encrypts all data held on the company’s server. The victim company is then told they must pay a ransom in order to recover their data. If the ransom is not paid the data will remain encrypted and in some cases deleted from the server. Brian Honan went on to say “Typically ransomware attacks are hitting businesses in the SME sector as many do not have the in-house expertise, or indeed access to that expertise, to manage the threat”.

The shortage of computer security skills is another theme that is common at this year’s conference. A number of the sponsors of the event are there to spot and recruit talent. Brian Honan said “There is a shortage of skilled people in this area. Our annual conference has become the premier computer security event in Ireland and attracts many people in the industry. This coupled with our cyber security challenge means that the conference is an ideal location for some of our sponsors, such as Amazon, to try to recruit skilled computer security experts”.

The conference includes speakers such as: 

  • Michael Moran, coordinator for Crimes against Children, Interpol
  • Rik Ferguson - Director Security Research & Communication EMEA - Trend Micro
  • Neira Jones - Head of Payment Security – Barclaycard
  • Candid Wueest, Principal Threat Researcher, Symantec
  • Gavin O'Gorman, Senior Threat Intelligence Analyst, Symantec
  • Eoin Keary CISSP, CISA, Chief Technology Officer, BCC Risk Advisory
  •  Mark Hillick, Senior Engineer, KybEire

The conference is to be held on Thursday the 22nd Of November in the Clyde Court Hotel (formerly the Berkley Court Hotel) and begins at 9:00 a.m. More details of the event is available at the IRISSCERT website.


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