Cyber crime is on the rise and now the second most reported economic crime, according to a study. PwC’s Global Economic Survey 2016 showed the jump as economic crime “goes digital”, with 32 per cent of organisations now affected by cyber crime.

Meanwhile, 34 per cent think they will be affected during the next two years, and cyber crime was the only type of economic crime to have registered an increase in its category, rising from fourth to second place in the list of the most-reported threats.

The report also showed that 61 per cent of CEOs are concerned about cyber security, but fewer than half of board members are asking for information about their firms’ cyber readiness and, alarmingly, only 37 per cent of organisations have an incident response plan.

Although respondents said reputational damage caused by cyber crime was most damaging, around 50 organisations reported losses of more than $5 million (£3.5 million) as a result, and nearly a third said they had lost more than $100 million (£69 million) to cyber crime.

Security leaders face a range of barriers to implementing effective cyber security measures. For a start, there is the matter of where to begin – an issue addressed by Nationwide’s group risk director when she advised on the key elements of an effective cyber security plan.

And an industry expert recently offered IT staff his advice on convincing senior management to support cyber security collaboration. Firms must act quickly – a study published today revealed that more than three quarters of organisations are unprepared for critical cyber security incidents.

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