Most global firms have no clue what a cyber attack will cost them

Oliver Gill
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The fall out from cyber attacks is a growing concern for business leaders (Source: Getty)

Top execs across the world have no idea what a cyber attack could cost them, according to research released today.

Double the number of business leaders (two-thirds of those polled) ranked cybersecurity among their top five risk concerns in 2017 compared with the year before – but less than one in five said they are highly confident of their firm's ability to withstand a cyber attack.

A report by tech giant Microsoft and insurance broker Marsh found fewer than 50 per cent of firms estimated losses from a hack and only 11 per cent make their estimates in economic terms.

“Cyber risk is an escalating management priority as the use of technology in business increases and the threat environment gets more complex,” said Marsh global risk and digital president John Drzik.

“It’s time for organisations to adopt a more comprehensive approach to cyber resilience, which engages the full executive team and spans risk prevention, response, mitigation and transfer.”

Read more: All 3bn Yahoo users' details were leaked in a hack, tech company confirms

Some 1,300 senior executives were interviewed as part of a global cyber risk perception survey.

Unlike previous years, when loss or breach of customer information was the top priority when it came to cybersecurity; firms are not much more worried about business interruption as a result of being hacked.

Microsoft deputy general counsel Matt Penarczy said: "While technology is the foundation of any good cybersecurity strategy, companies can benefit from investing in non-technology solutions like risk management as part of a holistic approach."

Read more: The FCA has launched a probe into the massive Equifax hack

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