The UK has been named the most breached country in Europe, with 37 per cent of firms experiencing a data breach in 2017.
Conducted by cyber security firm Thales, a recent survey of 400 senior security managers revealed that the number of breaches experienced by UK companies increased by 24 per cent on the previous year, up from 43 per cent to 67 per cent.
Despite these figures, just 31 per cent of the UK firms stated that they feel extremely vulnerable, while 69 per cent feel somewhat or not at all vulnerable.
The survey also found that rates of failure and data security compliance audits increased, with more than one in three respondents from across Europe reporting a failed compliance audit within the past 12 months.
Commenting on the survey, Chief Strategy Officer at Thales, Peter Galvin said: "A tidal wave of data breaches is continuing to roll across Europe, with three in every four organisations now a victim of cyber-crime."
He added: "As a result, people are feeling more vulnerable than ever before, worried about where the next threat will come from, and in what form."
Mr Galvin concluded that businesses should ensure they're dedicating a larger level of attention, budget and resources into the protection of their data against advanced attacks using methods such as encryption, which is a favoured method of protecting sensitive data among many modern businesses regardless of their type of data storage.
"The deployment of encryption is a well-recognised strategy to mitigate the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks as well as protect an organisation’s brand, reputation and credibility."