Hackers going after small and medium businesses, Gardaí warn

Owners of small and medium sized businesses are being warned this week of an increased threat to their workplace computer systems from hackers.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) have contacted Small Firms Association, after observing “a trend of small and medium-sized businesses being increasingly targeted by ransomware groups”.

In the past these groups typically focussed on larger organisations. However, they noted that “recently there have been several smaller Irish businesses impacted by ransomware”.

The Director of the NCSC Richard Browne said: “We have been dealing with the threat of ransomware for some time; however, we have seen a noticeable change in the tactics of criminal ransomware groups, whereby rather than largely focussing on Governments, critical infrastructure and big business, they are increasingly targeting smaller businesses. This is a trend that has been observed globally, and Ireland is no exception with several businesses becoming victims of these groups in the past number of weeks.”

In the letter sent to Ibec’s Small Firms Association, the NCSC and GNCCB reiterated the measures that small and medium-sized businesses can take to prevent and recover from cyber-attacks such as ransomware.