Nearly all large-sized British businesses are confident that their organisation is protected from the cyber threat posed by targeted attacks on their business systems.

The ‘Cyber Security Monitor' report from BAE System's cyber security division Detica, found that 94 per cent were confident on the security of their company, yet 92 per cent agreed that cyber criminality was a ‘growing menace' and 82 per cent agreed that cyber criminals are innovating their methods at a faster pace than business.

The largest concern for loss was around customer data (56 per cent) and the reputational damage sustained through the exposure of internal decision making processes (52 per cent). The research was done between 12th October and 5th November of IT practitioners who are involved in strategic decisions about their organisation's business risks or information technology at 50 enterprises.

Henry Harrison, technical director for Detica, said: “Awareness of the real commercial threat to private industry appears to remain low. It is surprising that the vast majority of those questioned believe themselves to be adequately equipped to deal with a direct cyber attack, as the most commonly quoted forms of IT security in the survey leave many organisations vulnerable.

“Companies increasingly need to go ‘beyond the firewall' to guarantee the integrity of their commercial and customer data. This threat is not simply going to go away and cyber risk should be addressed around the board table, it is not just the preserve of governments and the military. Overall, this survey shows just how difficult it is to get a balance between the conspiracy theorists and the cyber threat naysayers.”