Cyber risk is one of the three biggest concerns for CEOs and senior executives, according to an Ipsos survey for Lloyds Risk Index 2013.
The study of 580 executives showed that cyber risk increased in importance from 19th in 2011 to third in 2013.
The Lloyds Risk Index 2013 stated that one reason for this increase in awareness of cyber risk at board level could be the evolution of cyber attacks from financial crime to political and ideological attacks.
The report stated: "2012 saw the takedown of the Interpol, CIA and Boeing websites, the suspension of alternative currency Bitcoin's trading floor, the mass theft of passwords from professional networking site LinkedIn, and the outage of six major US bank websites."
The Lloyd's Risk Index reported that nearly two-thirds of incidents were caused by issues which should reasonably be within a business's control. Employee negligence was responsible for 39% of data breaches, system glitches accounted for 24%, while malicious or criminal attacks caused 37%.
"As in 2011, we must ask again if, despite their escalating spend on cyber security, businesses are actually spending money on the right things?" the report stated.
Lack of relevant skills as a business risk fell in importance among the senior executives who participated in the survey.
Skills rose from its 2009 mid-ranking of 22 to become the number two risk identified by global business leaders in 2011. In 2013, however, it has dropped to number 11 overall.
The top concern for CEOs was taxation, and the perception of how - and where - global corporations pay their taxes.