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One in seven industrial companies (14 per cent) have already taken out insurance against digital industrial espionage, sabotage or data theft. Two years ago the figure was only 11 per cent.

This is the finding of a study conducted by the digital industry association Bitkom, for which a representative cross-section of 503 managers and security officers from all sections of industry was interviewed. Another 13 per cent of companies have specific plans to take out insurance. Nearly a third (30 per cent) are actively considering it as an option. For four out of ten companies (38 per cent), a cyber policy remains off the radar.

It is mainly the larger concerns that are engaging with cyber insurance. A third of the companies with more than 500 employees (32 per cent) have already insured themselves against cyber attacks. Among medium-sized firms employing between 100 and 499 staff, the figure is close to a quarter (23 per cent), while only ten per cent, or one in ten, of smaller firms (10 to 99 employees) have invested in cyber insurance.

Opinion in industry is divided on the question of whether such insurance is worth having. But for three out of ten businesses (28 per cent), which have been the victims of cyber attacks in the last two years and were insured against them, the policies proved a worthwhile investment.