SMEs must play role in devising Ireland’s cybersecurity strategy – Digital Business Ireland

Leading digital trade representative body, Digital Business Ireland (DBI ), has called for SMEs to play a role in devising a national Cybersecurity Strategy.

DBI recently submitted a consultation response to the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications who are collating perspectives from industry for Ireland’s Strategy. In its response, DBI outlined the important role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs ) in shaping Ireland’s cybersecurity landscape now and into the future.

A November 2023 poll conducted by Digital Business Ireland found that nearly a fifth of Irish people (17% ) have fallen victim to a scam through their mobile phone with 20% of women reported a violation of their information through the same means, and 12% of men reporting the same.

DBI’s submission proposes additional measures to enhance skills development, such as tailored training programmes and incident response training for businesses. Recognising the imperative of state intervention and support, DBI advocates for a collaborative approach involving government, industry, academia, and other stakeholders to improve Ireland’s cybersecurity. This entails sustained financial backing for research, innovation, and workforce development in cybersecurity, ensuring SMEs have access to vital resources and expertise.

DBI compiled a comprehensive cybersecurity manual tailored specifically for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs ) in response to the growing threats to business data and information. Key contributors to it include Dinos Kerigan-Kyrou co-author of the NATO/Partnership for Peace Consortium Cybersecurity training programme and curriculum Royal Australian Air Force Legal Officer and Sqd Ldr (ret’d ) EJ Wise.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises form the bedrock of our economy, yet they are often disproportionately vulnerable to cyber threats. For that reason it is imperative that we empower SMEs with the necessary tools and knowledge to thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.

“We believe that initiatives aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the cybersecurity sector, particularly among SMEs, should be further emphasised. Facilitating public-private collaboration and creating platforms for information sharing and joint research projects are essential steps to stimulate investment in cybersecurity.

“Digital Business Ireland remains steadfast in its commitment to SMEs, advocating for policies and initiatives that empower businesses to thrive in the digital age. Our collective efforts must focus on equipping businesses with the tools and knowledge to navigate the cybersecurity landscape effectively,” Caroline Dunlea, Chairperson of Digital Business Ireland, said.

 

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