IT security threats reach epidemic proportions

IT security threats reach epidemic proportions

Picture of Adrian Weckler Technology Editor, Independent Newspapers

Adrian Weckler

Technology Editor, Independent Newspapers


In the last three months, the world has seen some of the biggest cyberhacks in history. The breach of up to 1bn Yahoo email accounts has reminded us that IT security remains one of the most pressing topics on the digital agenda.

And Yahoo isn’t alone. By any measure, the digital threats that businesses and organisations of all sizes face are increasing.

In the last year, global security incidents have risen by almost 40pc according to research from PWC. Even apart from Yahoo, this includes some 400m personal records that were exposed through breaches across the financial, business, education, government and healthcare sectors.

This comes at a price. Industry figures show that the average cost for each lost record is €122.

And many organisations don’t feel they’re getting on top of the situation. According to a recent CyberEdge report, over half of companies worldwide think that a successful cyberattack against their network will happen within the year.

Dublin Info Sec 2016 will look at some of the critically important issues that threaten businesses and organisations in Ireland and abroad.
Featuring experts in a variety of security fields, the event will also deal with some of the most important emerging challenges in IT security.
Here are some of the areas that Dublin Info Sec 2016 will deal in detail.

1. Ransomware: Ireland is in the grip of a ransomware wave, with businesses, public bodies and ordinary citizens being attacked relentlessly. Ransomware attacks are becoming a preferred cyber-criminal tool because they are very difficult to overcome once a computer system has become infected. Typically, ransoms are paid in the bitcoin cyber-currency and start at around €500 upwards. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will hear from a number of experts about how best to battle ransomware attacks.

2. Internet of Things: Industry experts predict the number of connected devices to jump from billions to trillions in the next decade. Everything from your kitchen appliance and your watch to lampposts and traffic lights in smart cities will ‘talk’ to one another as the world’s infrastructure adds intelligence to inanimate things. But the utility benefits of such expansion in our new world of an Internet of Things also poses unprecedented challenges to security. Already, incidences of malware attacking smart TVs are causing policy makers to consider how best to protect crucial civic and corporate assets from being exposed. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will feature one of the world’s leading authorities on securing devices in era of the Internet of Things.

3. Attacks on public sector bodies: Over the last number of years, government bodies and public sector organisations have increasingly come under attack from cybercriminals. From the transitioning of operating systems and backend servers to malware, ransomware and phishing attacks, sovereign governments are being tested as never before. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will map out strategies for public sector officials to prepare against and prevent IT attacks on their systems. Content will focus on local government agencies, semi-state bodies and central government departments.

4. Artificial intelligence in today’s business systems and how to deal with the rise of robots: AI and robotics are two of the most focused areas of advancement in IT today. From online customer service systems to machinery being deployed in our factories and offices, a new age of technology is giving rise to fears of enhanced security threats. Dublin Info Sec 2016 will look at the range of vulnerabilities likely to arise from increased automation and artificial intelligence.

5. Terms and conditions – the biggest lie on the internet? We’re all familiar with automatically ticking ‘I agree’ to terms and conditions requests from companies. But what are we exposing ourselves and our companies to by not reading through the conditions carefully? Can companies find themselves undone because of a lack of due diligence in this regard? The conference will parse this issue and reveal ways to protect ourselves.




Adrian Weckler is Technology Editor, Independent Newspapers