Most firms do not have adequate defences to protect themselves in the case of a cyber attack.
The news comes via a report from specialist insurer Hiscox, which surveyed 4,000 companies in the UK, USA, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands - and found that almost three quarters were ‘severely lacking' in security.
45 per cent of respondents had been the target of at least one cyber attack in the last year, with two-thirds of those suffering two or more - particularly amongst the financial services, government and telecoms sectors.
In spite of this threat, many companies lack necessary levels of protection. Even in the UK and USA, which Hiscox said were among the best nations for cyber defences, only 13 per cent of firms were described as ‘cyber experts', with both adequate security strategies and execution. The Netherlands, with only seven per cent of ‘experts', was the least cyber-savvy country.
Only 11 per cent of businesses were ranked as ‘experts' overall, with 16 per cent achieving expert status in either strategy or execution, but not both.
Peter Carlisle, VP EMEA at Thales eSecurity, told us:
"What we can see from these results is a clear demonstration of the very real concerns facing businesses, their customers and governments; particularly given the recent proliferation of data breaches and cyberattacks.
"There can be no doubt that the series of mega breaches and cyberattacks over the course of the last year has increased companies' urgency to improve their security posture. Corporations are investing millions to secure their critical data and intellectual property but despite this, attackers are still able to breach their infrastructure and steal valuable data. Businesses need to invest in robust privacy-by-design defence mechanisms - such as encryption - to protect valuable intellectual property and data."
"And, whilst ensuring that cyber and data security is at the forefront of the day-to-day agenda, it is hugely important to ensure that staff are properly trained with the necessary cyber skills."
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