Friday, 24 April 2015

Survey finds that 50% of IT professionals in Irish businesses fear a nation state cyber warfare attack

Data Solutions, the leading Irish distributor for IT solutions, has revealed the results of its survey which found that half of IT decision makers within Irish businesses are concerned that nation state cyber warfare, such as the Sony hack, may become a threat to their business. Just 4% of Irish businesses are not at all worried about a nation state cyber warfare attack. The survey was carried out among 171 senior IT decision makers in Irish businesses during March, 2015.

The survey found that 22% of IT professionals believe operations and production departments pose the biggest information security concern. The sales department and IT department were next at 20% and 19% respectively.

More than 40% of respondents blamed a lack of IT security knowledge or information for cyber security risk. About one third said the internal use of social media, personal devices or applications by employees was an information security risk to the business. One fifth of respondents highlighted  downloading of malicious files and a lack of effective security technologies or tools to protect the organisation against cyber-attacks, as the main cause of cybersecurity risk.

More than one third of senior IT decision makers believe the average IT user does not understand the risk of information security to the business. Greater than 50% of respondents believe their company does not provide enough IT security information  to non-IT staff. When it comes to responsibility, 70% of senior IT decision makers believe the average IT user passes the responsibility to the IT department. Almost 45% of respondents believe the average IT user within an Irish business does not take enough responsibility for IT security.

The majority (65%) of IT decision makers in Irish businesses said insiders pose the greatest security threat to business. Thirty-five per cent of respondents believe an outsider; either former staff, suppliers, criminals or others with malicious intent; is the most likely source of information security breach.
In excess of 42% of Irish businesses are concerned about compromised third party suppliers being a security breach, however almost half of Irish businesses don't know whether their suppliers have information security policy which would in turn protect their organisation against attack.

While 91% of IT decision makers in Irish businesses are most concerned about data loss or disclosure in the event of a cyberattack, 60% are worried about data destruction, 56% about insider misuse and 50% are worried about phishing. Eighty two per cent of the respondents are worried about social media, web application attacks and internet of things resulting in cyberattacks on their business.

Denial of service (DDoS) attacks, flaws in commonly used platforms, such as Heartbleed, and social engineering are also huge concerns for Irish businesses.

David Keating, security sales manager, Data Solutions, said, "Cyber warfare does not have geographical boundaries. Every internet connected business across the globe is a potential target, or a stepping stone to the real target. There are already many examples of malicious attacks who have reached their ultimate goal, whether financial or political, by compromising an intermediate business first. Ireland has digital ties to many of the largest organisations in the world and we cannot assume we are safe from attack.

"When it comes to cybersecurity risk, there is clearly a lack of information among non-IT users in Irish businesses and a need for education. The IT department may have security measures in place, but the user needs to be aware of factors that indicate a cyber-security risk in the first place in order to flag a concern. IT can then step in using tools that safely assess the risk.

"We are also seeing a growing concern among Irish businesses on the use of social media platforms and cloud-based solutions. The Third Platform brings with it new cybersecurity risks. Historically, Irish businesses have used IT applications and systems that were introduced by the business itself. Now, with the advent of IT consumerisation, users are bringing systems into the business, sometimes without the knowledge of the business.

"For example, a user might email a document to their home email account to work on it at a later stage. This is great for productivity but potentially puts very sensitive information at risk. If the IT department is made aware of this practice, they can deploy tools such as Check Point Capsule that can be used to access data the worker needs, but to do so in a secure way."

The full results of the survey will be presented at Data Solutions' Secure Computing Forum which will be held in The Light House Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin on 14th May. A limited number of free tickets remain for this, Ireland's largest annual conference dedicated to IT security.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

NLI Announces Marriage Equality Referendum Web Archiving Project

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has today announced that it is archiving websites related to the upcoming marriage equality referendum.

The NLI has been carrying out selective and thematic web archiving since 2011, aimed at ensuring a permanent record is kept of websites of cultural and historical importance.

Commenting today, Joanna Finegan, Assistant Keeper at the NLI’s Digital Library, said: “Referendum campaigns and elections can, in hindsight, prove to be seminal moments in history. Yet, since so much information is now shared online, it has become difficult to ensure permanent records are kept of referendum and election materials. Relevant websites can quite literally disappear in the aftermath of a vote.

“Here in the NLI, our holdings constitute the most comprehensive collection of Irish documentary material in the world. In order to offer a broad representation of our history and heritage, it is crucial that our collections include not just hard-copy printed materials, but digital collections as well.”

The process of identifying and selecting websites to be included in the NLI’s Marriage Equality Referendum 2015 collection is currently underway. The collection will include sites documenting both sides of the debate; official sites like that of the Referendum Commission; commentary sites and political party websites. These sites are selected in order to provide as complete a picture as possible of how the referendum has been documented in the online space, for future research and to complement the NLI’s existing newspaper and ephemera collections.

According to Joanna Finegan: “The purpose of web archiving is to preserve the records of today, a sample of our world, for future generations. As our daily lives increasingly occur in the digital space, we must preserve and ensure permanent access to material that originated online to have a record of human society in the 21st Century.”

NLI’s Web Archiving Process

Once the web site identification and selection process has been completed, the NLI contacts the website owners directly to let them know of our interest in archiving their website. Working with its web-archiving partner, the Internet Memory Foundation, the NLI arranges the technical details around collecting a snapshot of the relevant website.

“With limited full-time technical resources and restricted budgets, our web-archiving projects would not be possible without collaborating with partners like the Internet Memory Foundation, an international non-profit that supports the preservation of internet content for heritage and cultural purposes,” said Joanna Finegan.

Unlike other National Libraries of a similar size we are not yet in a position to carry out full domain .ie crawls at regular intervals, but with the right resources in place, this is something we hope to get involved with in the future. In the short term, however, in addition to the referendum web-archiving project, the NLI will be creating an archive collection around the 100-year commemoration of the 1916 Rising next year. Previous websites archived by the NLI have included:

· Proposal to Abolish Seanad Éireann, Referendum 2013: The live website of the organisation that campaigned for a ‘No’ vote in this referendum, Democracy Matters, no longer exists ( The site was archived by the NLI twice in October 2013, before and after the referendum.

· Tall Ships Races, Dublin 2012: Dublin was the final port of call for the 2012 Tall Ships Race. To coincide with this, a four-day quayside festival took place from 23rd to 26th August 2012, and was the largest event to take place in Ireland that year. The live website for the event ( no longer exists; however, the site was archived by the NLI in September 2012 and twice in October 2012.

· General Election 2011, New Vision: New Vision was an alliance of independent candidates formed to contest the 2011 General Election and committed to voting en bloc on four key issues. The live website,, no longer exists. The site was archived by the NLI in February and March 2011.

In addition to once-off archiving, the NLI also takes regular snapshots of particular sites to capture how the content evolves over time.

For more information, visit

Inspirefest 2015 - Event Dublin

The launch of a Inspirefest 2015, a unique, new, two-day, international sci-tech event aiming to showcase diversity and leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) will take place at 11.15am onWednesday, 22nd April, 2015 on the Rooftop Terrace of The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2.

According to Ann O’Dea, founder of the event, Inspirefest aims to challenge the status quo in the STEM sectors by featuring a speaker line-up and attendance list dominated by high-achieving women. “Inspirefest 2015 will look at the science and technologies of the future, and their societal and business impact,” she said. “Where it differs from other events, is that the leaders on stage will be at least 70 per cent female. It really will be the first event of its kind in the world.”

Inspirefest 2015 will take place in Dublin from 18th to 19th June in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, surrounded by an extensive fringe festival and outreach programme that will bring together design, the arts and STEM. It is organised by Silicon Republic, which has long championed the role of women in STEM through its Women Invent campaign.

Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, will officially launch Inspirefest 2015 and will be joined by a number of speakers including:

• Ann O’Dea, CEO and Editor-at-large of Silicon Republic

• Kerry Howard, Author and Bletchley Park researcher (UK)

• 12-year-old Niamh Scanlon, Mentor and Coder, CoderDojo Girls

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Inni-K will also be performing on the morning, as she will take part in the Inspirefest 2015 fringe festival in June.

Full details of Inspirefest 2015 will be announced at the launch.

For more information visit