More than half of businesses in the UK, US and Germany aren't fully prepared to deal with a cyber attack

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UK firms are least likely to have experienced a cyber attack in the past year (Source: Getty)

More than half of businesses (53 per cent) in the UK, US and Germany aren’t fully prepared to deal with cyber attacks, according to a new study of 3,000 companies.

Specialist insurer Hiscox’s cyber report – which assessed firms on strategy, resourcing, technology and process – found that UK firms are least likely to have experienced a cyber attack in the past year (45 per cent). But more than a third (35 per cent) said they haven’t changed anything following a cyber security incident.

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US firms were found to be the most prepared to deal with a cyber attack. However, larger US firms were also targeted more often than others with 72 per cent experiencing an attack in the past 12 months and nearly half (47 per cent) of all US firms experiencing two or more.

German companies were branded “cyber novices” in the study as the made up the biggest group of bottom-ranked firms (39 per cent of the total). 

Firms in the three countries are ramping up their security spending. The study pointed out that a majority of cyber security budgets (59 per cent) are set to increase by five per cent or more over the coming 12 months while one in five firms (21 per cent) will lift spending by a double-digit amount.

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Businesses also spent more money on getting new technologies to prepare themselves against cyber crimes. Around a quarter of firms that experienced a cyber attack responded by increasing their spending on prevention or detection technologies (24 per cent and 23 per cent respectively).

Meanwhile, a cyber risk study by Deloitte published yesterday found that only five per cent of FTSE companies have cyber security expertise on the board.