Cybercrime could cost companies around the world nearly eight trillion dollars over the next five years.
Digital consultancy firm Accenture Research surveyed more than 1700 chief executives worldwide, finding most said a trustworthy digital economy was critical to the growth of their businesses.
Accenture New Zealand managing director Justin Gray said cybercrime was rising and attacks were becoming more sophisticated.
He said businesses across all industries needed to take note of the research.
It was revealed yesterday that nine New Zealand companies' websites have been compromised in a huge global data breach.
More than 770 million email addresses and passwords, totalling 87 gigabytes of data, have been posted online in a hackers' forum.
Technology magazine Wired said they appeared to have been stolen from more than 2000 websites around the world.
The nine New Zealand websites targetted predominantly belong to smaller companies.