British business leaders on Saturday urged police to make cyber crime an urgent priority following an attack on broadband provider TalkTalk, saying firms face continual security breaches.

TalkTalk said the private data of its more than 4 million customers could be at risk and that it had received a ransom demand from an unidentified party.

The data could include credit card and bank details and if the theft is confirmed by a police investigation it would be one of the country’s largest online breaches.

The Institute of Directors business lobby said that while the biggest attacks gain most attention, companies face a constant threat from cyber security incidents.

“Only the most serious breaches make it into the headlines, but there are attacks on UK companies happening constantly,” a spokesman said in a statement.

“The police must make this issue an urgent priority and investigate theft of data just as it would theft of physical property.”

The attack on TalkTalk follows dozens of high-profile cases targeting retailers and banks in North America.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Jason Neely)

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