Datapac warns of increasing cyber security threats

By David Tucker

Published 23/01/2016 | 00:00

Patrick Kickham, from Datapac.
Patrick Kickham, from Datapac.

there will be increased cyber security threats faced by Irish organisations in 2016, according to Datapac, Ireland's largest indigenous ICT solutions services provider.

Following an end-of-year ICT review, Datapac, which has its head office in Enniscorthy, says that email phishing attempts, such as those that affected household names like Electric Ireland last year, are on the increase. Other cyber security threats Irish organisations should be aware of in 2016 include Trojans that encrypt mission critical data, preventing organisations from being able to access it.

Perpetrators of this kind of attack hold the data for ransom forcing companies to pay for release with no guarantee they will actually follow through once payment has been received. This newspaper recently reported on a case of a Wexford man whose computer was remotely encrypted by hackers who demanded a ransom of €800 in bitcoins to unlock it.

He refused to pay and lost all the data stored on his hard drive, which had to be removed and replaced. Datapac said the importance of data protection and compliance will be significant in 2016. Organisations are acutely aware of the financial and reputational damage from losing data and will make greater provisions in 2016 to make sure they are protected.

This will mean more investment in solutions like on premise private cloud and systems to prevent staff from taking data with them when they leave the organisation. Cloud services will continue to grow this year, particularly in the areas of disaster recovery and business continuity, as Irish businesses ensure the continued availability of their mission critical data. However, on premise storage will also grow, as Irish organisations are still uncomfortable moving potentially sensitive information like applications or mission critical data to the cloud.

Independent research commissioned by Datapac in 2015 showed that the amount of data stored by Irish organisations grew by more than 40 per cent last year, with this trend set to continue at pace into 2016. Another expected growth area in 2016 will be the development and availability of cloud printing solutions and Near Field Communication (NFC). With NFC becoming standard now, it is making wireless printing easy for everyone in the office. With wireless direct printing, people can print from their NFC-enabled smartphones and tablets with just a touch. Demand for a wide number of wireless technologies will grow in 2016, including wearable technologies, wireless charging and increasingly powerful smartphones and mobile devices. Patrick Kickham, director, Datapac, said there will be further exciting developments in the areas of managed print and document workflow. There's been a lot of hype about 3D Printing, which will continue to grow in some manufacturing industries. However, the availability of cloud and wireless printing will become much more of a reality.

Wexford People

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