Hacking, phishing, online scams, and other variations of cybercrime are thought to be the most prevalent financial crimes in Ireland, according to a new survey.
The study was conducted by the Compliance Institute, the professional body for compliance professionals.
It found that fraud and tax evasion take joint second place as the most prevalent financial crimes in Ireland.
This was followed by money laundering, bribery and corruption, and insider trading.
The Compliance Institute polled 230 compliance professionals working primarily in Irish financial services organisations nationwide.
“While financial crimes from tax evasion to insider trading could be classed as the ‘traditional’ criminal pursuits, cybercrime is more new-age and is developing and advancing at a pace so fast that organisations and legislators cannot keep up,” said Michael Kavanagh, CEO of the Compliance Institute.
“These attacks can have catastrophic consequences not just for those whom they are perpetrated against, but for the wider public.
“We only have to look at the devastation that was caused to patients following the 2021 hacking of the HSE to understand the severity of the crimes,” Mr Kavanagh said.
The Compliance Institute said that Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) figures show fraudsters stole nearly €85m through frauds and scams in 2022 and that as a new year commences, there is a real concern that there will an uptick in these figures.
“Ireland is now Europe’s largest data hosting cluster, putting the need for elevated cybercrime and data protection systems into sharp focus,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“Regulators need to ask themselves how they can regulate and supervise without stifling innovation.”
“Businesses and organisations need to ask how they can best prepare and respond, and the general public also needs to know what measures they can take to protect themselves,” he added.