Many Irish businesses are not prepared to deal with a cyber attack and a significant majority are not fulfilling basic legal requirements.
This leaves them open to possible litigation and fines on top of risking the loss of intellectual property and commercially sensitive information. That is one of the findings from law firm A&L Goodbody's 2015 Cyber Risk Study.
John Whelan, Partner and Head of A&L Goodbody's International Technology Practice, says there is a good degree of preparedness by companies in relation to the technical aspects in a potential cyber attack. But the laws relating to what needs to be done in case of an attack is emerging and evolving both across the UK and at home, Mr Whelan adds. He says the legal readiness of firms involves two aspects - the first is the preparation and having the appropriate policies in place in respect of the potential of a cyber attack and the second is what to actually do in the event of such an attack. The simple issue of not having a written policy in case of a cyber attack can come back to haunt companies and Mr Whelan says that in the event of an attack, there will be some element of a regulatory inspection by the data protection regulator or the Central Bank. A company's policies can go a long way to show what it has done to avoid a cyber attack, he adds.
A lot of companies now rely on third party suppliers, especially with the growth of cloud services. Mr Whelan says that most of those arrangements will contain a written contract between the company and the service provider. He also says that companies are becoming more aware of the fact that their own compliance is going to be very dependent on a third party's compliance. Auditing and monitoring a third party's compliance with the legal obligations is as important as the company's own compliance levels, he cautions.
MORNING BRIEFS - Irish games company Digit will add up to 40 new jobs at its Dublin studio after securing a significant investment from the US firm Scopely. The two companies did not give a specific figure for the investment but described it as "multi-million euro". Digit employs 20 people in Dublin.
*** Ireland has slipped back one place to 16th on an influential list of the world's most competitive economies. The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook for 2015 rates the US as the most competitive country. Luxembourg, which has climbed 10 places since last year to fourth position, is the highest-ranked EU nation. Ireland is ahead of the UK but is a few places behind Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
*** A German court has ruled it is not illegal to distribute software that blocks online ads. German broadcaster RTL and ProSiebenSat 1 had taken a case against Eyeo the maker of Adblock plus, which has been downloaded over 400 million times worldwide. Eyeo makes money by charging companies such as Google and Microsoft to sign up to what is called a "whitelist" which lets their ads through. A Munich court ruled that both the software and that business model, which RTL and ProSiebenSat had described as "extortion", are legal. It is the second court challenge Eyeo has seen off. ProSiebenSat said it will consider taking further legal steps against it.
*** The average bonus payout to a mid-level banker, that is anyone below managing director level, at Goldman Sachs in London is £194,000 (€273,000). That puts the investment firm top of the bonus table compiled by emolument.com. £24,000 per banker ahead of rival Morgan Stanley in second place. The staff at BNP Paribas, meanwhile, who took home bonus payments of £113,000 each on average, came top of a separate emolument.com survey as the bankers who consider themselves to be the most underpaid.