A new study shows that 79% of decision-makers in Ireland feel that cybersecurity is critical to their organisation's success, while 84% of respondents view improving cybersecurity as a top priority.

Data centre operator Equinix surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from diverse enterprises across 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA region for the research.

The survey also found that 37% of respondents in Ireland view data leaks and cyberattacks as a result of more distributed user devices as a top threat, this compares to 50% of worldwide respondents

Meanwhile, 38% of respondents here said they fear the threat of data leaks and cyberattacks as a result of increased cloud adoption compared to 48% of worldwide respondents.

Findings from the Global Equinix survey also highlight a growing awareness around the importance of regulatory compliance among Irish IT leaders.

With GDPR now in its 4th year of implementation and non-compliance fines up 39% between 2020 and 2021, Equinix's findings also suggest that a more regulatory-vigilant approach is being adopted.

The survey found that 40% of respondents in Ireland identified changing regulatory requirements around data privacy as a top threat, while 82% said that complying with data protection regulation was a leading priority.

Maurice Mortell, Managing Director for Ireland at Equinix, said the survey was conducted just before the HSE and other recent high-profile breaches.

"It shows that Irish enterprises had already recognised cybersecurity as their top priority. Now that there is national awareness of the havoc that a cyberattack can cause, we are seeing an even more pronounced focus on IT and cloud security by Irish enterprises," Mr Mortell said.

"The evolving workplace is seeing a growing trend towards hosting applications and data in the cloud, so we can expect to see a sharper focus on cloud security. There are significant benefits of hosting data in highly secure cloud environment, but there are also risks," he added.