Canada’s companies are ill-prepared to meet modern cybersecurity challenges, according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute.

Only one in four believe that they are winning the cybersecurity war, said the survey of 623 IT and security practitioners commissioned by IT services firm Scalar Decisions. Almost half of all respondents experienced an attack in the last year that exposed sensitive information, and a third believed that a loss of intellectual property had caused a lack of competitive advantage.

The biggest barrier to cybersecurity was a lack of in-house expertise, the survey found. Security was also seen as siloed, meaning that it didn’t collaborate effectively with other parts of the business.

When companies were breached, the average spent on each incident was $208,432. The biggest impact was to reputational damage and marketplace image, the research showed.

Organizations in Canada felt that cybercrimes were becoming more frequent (52 percent), and more sophisticated (73 percent). Almost one in every eight respondents felt that attacks were becoming more severe.

Companies pledged to spend money on Big Data analytics for cybersecurity to help them gain broader visibility of the threat landscape, the report added. This was the area of most interest, with 47 percent of companies allocating funds to it. Network traffic surveillance and security information and event management (SIEM) were the next biggest areas of investment over the coming 12 months.