90% of Irish IT security experts say they have seen a rise in disruptive cyberattacks in the last year, a new survey has found.
The study also found that just 30% felt that their executive management fully understands the value and needs of the cyber security teams, compared to 42% globally.
More than half of respondents said they fear they are exposed to a major breach which could be avoided if their businesses invested more in their cyber defences.
44% claimed their budgets were too low to handle the new challenges which have emerged over the last year.
"Where improvement can be made is by creating heightened awareness of these threats at board and executive level," said Carol Murphy, EY Ireland Consulting Partner and Head of Technology Risk.
"There is a tendency for cyber security to get lost on the priority list and this can leave the entire business exposed."
"With the regulatory burden rapidly increasing, however, boards are beginning to wake up to the threat posed and to the level of resourcing required, and not before time".
Despite the growing threat, in a positive sign 60% of respondents claimed they are confident in understanding and anticipating new strategies used by bad actors.
Over two-thirds said that their teams are sometimes consulted too late or even not at all when their organisations make strategic decisions.