Security is at the top of corporate agendas, with 97 per cent of executives rating it as a matter of 'great' concern.
Over two-thirds of small businesses still feel vulnerable to IT security attacks and believe the government should work more closely with the IT community to solve security problems.
The Business Security Survey for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was conducted by MORI and questioned 100 CBI member companies on a broad range of security issues. The report highlighted a feeling of exposure in many firms.
Sixty per cent said they have residual concerns about their company's state of preparedness, with 70 per cent of SMEs expressing similar concerns.
The survey found that 82 per cent of firms have been discussing IT security threats in the boardroom. Two-thirds of respondents also admitted to undergoing a security overhaul in the past year, with the same number having appointed a chief security officer.
The research also revealed that nearly one-quarter of firms felt a greater openness between government and business would make the biggest difference to the UK's ability to trade in the current security climate.
"The risk assessment process in a business would be much improved if there was greater transparency from the government and other key agencies," said Digby Jones, director-general at the CBI.
However, George Anderson, IT security business development manager at Computacenter, said the government should be cautious about its openness with information.
"There's open and there's open. The government should work with the IT industry to develop information that is specifically relevant to individual firms. It must also hand out the information in a controlled way.
"Some companies respond better to threats that are individual to them, rather than general threats. It's about developing a threat landscape," Anderson added.
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