Senior executives and boards are waking up to the dangers of cyber attacks. But how ready are they to face a data breach? Not very, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute for Hewlett-Packard.

Seventy per cent of  the 495 executives in the U.S. and Britain surveyed think their organization only partially understands the risks they’re exposed to as a result of a data breach.

While less than half of C-suite and board-level executives are kept informed about the breach response process, only 45 per cent believe they are accountable for the incident response.

The good news is that just under 80 per cent of respondents say executive level involvement is necessary for a successful data breach response.  Seven in ten respondents believe board level oversight is also crucial.

HP has created a way for organizations to rate their breach response preparedness with a free assessment tool. It’s a series of questions that compares an organization’s answers to those of its industry peers.

Meanwhile Ponemon drafted six ways executives can improve the organization’s response to a data breach. All images from