A survey of CEOs from across the UK found that four in 1o believe becoming a victim of a cyber-attack is now a case of 'when' and not 'if' for their business.

KPMG polled 150 UK leaders and a further 1,150 chief executive officers from across the world about their future investment plans and the challenges and opportunities facing them.

With reports of cyber-attacks and breaches almost daily, 39 percent of UK CEOs surveyed believe they will be targeted by a cyber-attack.

The view was relatively optimistic when compared to their global counterparts, where 49 per cent said they envisioned a cyber-attack on their business.

"The seeming inevitability of a cyber attack crosses all borders and has now crossed firmly over the threshold for board-level discussions," said Thomas Collins, director and head of KPMG's cyber security practice in the North.

"Protecting the business from a cyber-attack has jumped further up the boardroom agenda and we are seeing businesses making their defences the best that they can be."

With the GDPR affecting all global businesses interacting with EU firms and customers, the survey found that only 40 per cent of UK CEOS view customer data protection as one of their most important personal responsibilites.

However the survey also found that UK business leaders believe that a strong cyber security strategy is critical to engender trust with key stakeholders, with 74 percent agreeing that cyber security is an enabler of trust, in comparison to only 55 percent of global CEOs.

Collins added: "It is reassuring that UK CEOs see the value in having a good cyber security strategy which enables trust. The reality is that without trust, customers are likely to be increasingly resistant to sharing personal information, potentially undermining business models and strategies.

"Businesses need to turn privacy into a source of competitive advantage which will no doubt enable long-term growth of the customer base."