Approximately one in four businesses in Cyprus has fallen victim to some form of cyberattack, according to a recent survey conducted by the Cyprus Information Technology Enterprises Association (CITEA). The results were presented on Wednesday evening in Nicosia.

CITEA also introduced the “CITEA Index,” an initiative aimed at measuring the digital readiness of businesses in Cyprus. According to the index’s findings, nearly 60 per cent of businesses in Cyprus are either in the early stages of digital transformation or are just beginning to explore available tools for digital advancement.

The “Digital Cyprus Survey 2023”, conducted in June by the Institute of Market Research (IMR) at the University of Nicosia in collaboration with CITEA examined 500 businesses. Data was collected through an electronic platform and structured questionnaires, as well as telephone interviews.

Among businesses in the technology sector, 97 per cent of respondents considered technologies and strategies related to cybersecurity to be significantly or very important, compared to 89 per cent in the previous year’s survey.

Furthermore, 26 per cent of businesses reported experiencing cyberattacks, while 88 per cent mentioned that they had taken measures to combat such attacks, representing a substantial increase compared to the previous year when only 39 per cent had taken such precautions.

The most common practices for countering cyberattacks include regular security checks and assessments (79 per cent), the implementation of firewalls and intrusion detection systems (75 per cent), and continuous employee training and awareness (70 per cent).

Additionally, 85 per cent of businesses expressed their intention to invest in digital transformation within the next year, with 24 per cent said they are planning to allocate up to €10,000 for this purpose, and 14 per cent envision investing over €100,000.

Collaboration with industry experts and continuous learning and skill development were identified as ways to harness opportunities presented by digital transformation for six out of ten businesses, according to the survey results.

Six out of ten businesses have also made significant progress in digital skills training, and approximately 66 per cent have actively engaged their personnel in the digital transformation process.

Moreover, 76 per cent of businesses identified strengthening their employees’ digital skills as one of the main challenges in transitioning to the new digital era.

According to the survey’s conclusions, eight out of ten businesses anticipate increased efficiency and productivity, as well as ongoing adaptation and evolution in the future, following the implementation of digital transformation.

Businesses that have adopted digital technologies consider them to have had a positive impact on their operations. Performance indicators and self-assessment by personnel were highlighted as popular methods for measuring the effects of digital transformation.