A third of the region's businesses are not convinced their company is guarded against IT risk, according to a survey commissioned by KPMG.
Businesses are particularly concerned about virus attacks (61 per cent) which IT security commentator Neil Ward, from KPMG in Birmingham, says is a key area where attackers have become increasingly sophisticated in order to cause as much disruption as possible.
He said: "It is worrying that a good proportion of the region's businesses still do not have their IT security operations up to speed.
"Hackers have changed what they are targeting and are starting to concentrate on application programs including backup software, database software, media players and even anti-virus software itself rather than the traditional operating systems.
"They are also targeting the vulnerabilities found in network devices such as routers and switches. These pose a significant threat to an organisation's security."
He added: "Companies can no longer rely on a one size fits all approach to IT security."