Bitkom says cybercrime-related damages totaled 55 billion euros a year (Photo: FBI)

German companies are not well prepared for espionage, sabotage or data theft, according to a new poll.

The country's high-tech association interviewed 1,069 executives in charge of corporate security and found that only four out of 10 companies had a disaster-recovery plan in place.

In critical infrastructure areas such as energy or financial services, 53 percent of companies had a plan of action ready in the event security systems were breached or IT systems reported a hacker attack. In other companies, only 43 percent had such a plan in place.

Companies with more than 500 employees did slightly better in the survey, with 68 percent having made preparations, compared with 61 percent for companies with 100 to 499 employees and 40 percent for companies with fewer than 100 employees.

The lack of preparedness comes despite growing evidence of cyber threats to companies. According to Bitkom, more than half of all companies in Germany have been the victim of cyber crime in the past two years. These instances caused aggregate damages of 55 billion euros a year during the period, the association said.

Bitkom President Achim Berg emphasized that digital attacks present a real threat to companies. "When you fail to have an emergency plan in place, you're endangering the security of your own company, your employees, partners and customers," he said in a statement.