Almost every business has been hit by a 'significant' cyber-attack

An alarming amount of big European firms are 'complacent' about cybersecurity

Another alarming statistic has been revealed about the number of businesses that have suffered a cyber-attack, along with a warning that companies are becoming increasingly complacent when it comes to their defences against such threats.

A survey by Lloyd's of London, which quizzed CEOs and other senior management at around 350 European companies, found that no less than nine out of 10 big businesses (with a turnover of €250 million plus – that's around £215 million or $280 million) had been hit by a 'significant' cyber-attack in the last five years.

Despite that fact, the research discovered that less than half of those organisations are worried about getting blasted by a breach in the future.

Lloyd's CEO Inga Beale declared that European businesses are 'complacent' – and that it's a reality that a company will be "hacked or attacked in some way", at some point. Which is definitely a fair point. Beale warned: "There's been an element of complacency in the past, but it's going to become more prevalent."

As the Telegraph reports, Beale said that firms in the US were more aware of issues pertaining to hacking attacks, because there are stricter penalties for data spillages over the other side of the pond.

Stringent measures

But stricter measures will likely be arriving in the UK in time, with the emergence of a new cybersecurity report from MPs back in June which put in place a number of stringent recommendations, including escalating fines for companies who are repeat offenders when it comes to spilling customer details.

The report stated that: "The ICO should introduce a series of escalating fines, based on the lack of attention to threats and vulnerabilities which have led to previous breaches. A data breach facilitated by a 'plain vanilla' SQL attack, for example, or continued vulnerabilities and repeated attacks, could thus trigger a significant fine."

MPs didn't just aim flak at businesses though, but also at cybercriminals, with those who hack user data and sell it on potentially facing jail time: up to two years behind bars.

Another recent piece of research commissioned by the UK government – the Cyber Security Breaches Survey – found that 65% of big businesses in the UK had been hit by a cyber-attack or data breach during the course of last year. And a quarter of those firms experienced at least one breach per month.

There are plenty of worrying statistics flying around, certainly, which should be enough to make any business want to re-evaluate their cyber-defences.