German businesses are ignoring the risks of cyber attacks simply because they are reluctant to educate themselves on IT security, a Deutsche Telekom study has concluded.

According to a survey of 532 senior managers from small, medium and large enterprises in Germany, plus 113 lawmakers, only 12 percent believe hackers could inflict serious damage on their organisations.

Another 60 percent claimed their IT was “as well-prepared as possible” against cyber attacks.

However, this is at odds with findings by Deutsche Telekom that claimed nine out of 10 companies have already been the victim of cyber attacks, with more than a third of companies reporting being targeted “several times a week or even daily.”

The operator suggested that businesses wrongly assumed they were secure if they had not yet been subject to attacks.

“If little happens or no spectacular cases come to light, then businesses ignore the risks because they are reluctant to get to grips with IT security in the first place,” the report said.

Last week, T-Systems MD of Telecommunications warned enterprises to expect a rise in the number of attacks on their networks and IT systems.

Anette Bronder, Director of T-Systems’ Digital Division, said that many attacks were going undetected by organisations and took an average of 220 days before coming to light.

However, the move toward digitisation means that more organisations are putting new security measures in place.

For example, 53 percent of manufacturing companies have now put in place “specialised IT security concepts”, while 45 percent have developed solutions to protect data exchanges between production control and production.

Spending on IT security has also increased, DT found.

Twenty-nine percent managers in medium and large companies said they now spend considerably more of security than they did a year ago, while 49 percent said they spent “somewhat more”.

Further, the report revealed than organisations are still dubious of the cloud, with just 24 percent of managers viewing cloud computing as secure.

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