Major British companies are not taking cyber security seriously and do not consider the risks that cyber threats pose to their businesses, the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) revealed on Tuesday.

The government conducted a survey which revealed that only 14% of the 350 FTSE companies polled pay attention to cyber risks on a regular basis, while a substantial portion felt they weren’t educated enough on cybercriminal activity.

Nevertheless, 62% of firms believe that their company’s board members consider cyber risks as a very serious matter. Among the results from the study is the fact that 25% of firms consider cyber threats as a top risk, while 17% see them as an acceptable level of risk.

Companies in the United Kingdom are increasingly facing cyber threats, and while many of them are taking the matter very seriously, there is still a lot to be done, said science minister David Willetts. The government is working with companies and encouraging them to make cyber security a board-level responsibility, he said.

In order to deal with the rising threat, the UK government is partnering with sector players to create a “cyber standard” which will encourage companies to adopt cyber security practices. The standard is expected to be introduced in the beginning of 2014 within the National Cyber Security Programme, which is worth £860 million.

The standard will help businesses to understand how to protect themselves from cyber threats, and will also boost the overall cyber security level in the United Kingdom, the minister concluded.