The Institute of Directors (IoD) has called for urgent action to tackle cyber-crime following the recent attack on TalkTalk.
According to the IoD cyber attacks "happen constantly" with only the serious breaches making the headlines.
Oliver Parry, IoD senior corporate governance adviser, urged police to make cyber crime an "urgent priority" calling for data thefts to be taken as seriously as the theft of physical property.
He added companies also needed to "ensure they know where potential threats are coming from" and to be prepared should the "worst happen".
TalkTalk revealed on Thursday it had fallen victim to a cyber attack and the details of up to 4m customers had been stolen. Reports suggest some TalkTalk customers have since seen suspicious activity on their bank accounts.
Yesterday, TalkTalk chief, Dido Harding, claimed the firm had received a ransom email from a group purporting to be behind the attack with the police currently investigating.