A survey published by PwC on Wednesday shows that Cybercrime has seen a sharp rise in the last two years and now costs UK businesses "at least 10bn" a year.
The survey showed that 92 per cent of businesses asked had experienced some kind of breach in the security of their data in the last year.
The cost of dealing with these incidents is also on the rise according to the survey with the most expensive cases costing between £280,000 and £690,000 to fix. This is up sharply from £90,000 to £170,000 in 2008.
Chris Potter, a partner from Price Waterhouse Cooper said, "There has been a lot of arguing in the election campaign over withdrawing £6bn in spending from the economy, but over £10bn is being wasted on cybercrime."
He continued: "In 2008 the amount was only around £3bn to £5bn. In 2004, we saw a peak in the number of attacks, and 2006 was a peak in costs. In 2008 it was trending downwards, but that has now sharply reversed."
The survey estimates that around 34 per cent of British companies are essentially dependent on externally hosted software services which are accessed over the internet. Only 17 per cent of companies using cloud computing are encrypting their data.
"There are some blind-spots. Clearly there are some fundamental issues that companies need to get better at dealing with," said Mr Potter.
One of the biggest issues for companies in the past year has been the Conficker virus. The virus infected more than 7m computers worldwide including the Ministry of Defence and House of Commons computer systems.
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