Workplace security and compliance specialist CWSI has found that Irish businesses are seeing bigger increases in cybersecurity attacks than their European counterparts.

A European survey from CWSI reveals that 54% of Irish companies have seen a rise in cybersecurity breach attempts in the last year, the highest in Europe and compared to 42% on average for European firms.

The report also shows that 12% of Irish organisations have fallen victim to a phishing attack on a mobile device in the last 12 months.

Phishing is perceived to be the highest cybersecurity threat in Ireland (76%), followed by human error (58%) and ransomware (46%), CWSI said.

The report also shows that 55% of Irish businesses perceive security to be the most important factor when it comes to digital workplace/remote working over the next 12 months, the highest in Europe and compared to 45% of European respondents.

But just 68% of Irish organisations have carried out mobile security awareness training, and just 35% carry out regular penetration and vulnerability tests for mobile devices, today's report shows.

However, CWSI said that 86% of companies in Ireland are confident in their ability to secure company data on remote devices, ahead of their European counterparts on 73%.

Just 35% of IT and business leaders in Ireland had believed that remote working technologies were important pre-Covid, but has now jumped to 97%.

51% of Irish organisations who have adopted remote working as part of their digital workplace strategy believe it is suitable for permanent remote working, and three-quarters of respondents believe their workforces are capable of remote working post-Covid.

Improving the employee experience is a key factor for driving remote working strategies for 91% of Irish respondents, CWSI said.

Ronan Murphy, CEO of CWSI, said it is clear that with the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, more needs to be done here to futureproof organisations' cybersecurity infrastructure.

He noted that has also been a worrying amount of Irish businesses falling victim to a phishing attack on mobile devices over the past year.

"Many business and IT leaders are over-confident in their ability to protect data from loss or theft, without the necessary security measures to back this up, and there is a clear disparity and false sense of security here which needs to be addressed," Ronan Murphy said.

"Our survey also found that organisations fail to make the best use of all available features on their existing security and management solutions," he added.

He also said that improving the employee experience is a key factor for driving remote working strategies for most Irish businesses, which in turn, leads to more engaged, productive and loyal employees.

"While just over half of Irish organisations are able to facilitate permanent remote working, many more will have to come on board as working from home is here to stay for a growing cohort of employees and businesses," he added.