Only 41 per cent of Australian companies are confident in their ability to detect an attack within minutes, and just under half said it would take days, weeks, or even months.
That's according to the latest McAfee cyber attack report which includes findings from medium enterprises in 18 countries including Australia.
Comparing the global results with Australian based respondents, there is a higher level of concern about targeted attacks.
But two in five Australian organisations feel confident in detecting these within minutes, compared with just a quarter on a global scale.
The report also found 56 per cent of organisations investigated 10 or more attacks last year, while 78 per cent indicated that targeted attacks are a primary concern for their organisations.
More than half of the companies surveyed indicated that they had adequate tools and technologies to deliver faster incident response, but often critical indicators are not isolated from the mass of alerts generated, placing a burden on IT teams to sift through threat data.
McAfee chief technology officer, APAC, Sean Duca, said by shifting the company's focus to real-time, SIEM (Security information and event management technologies) that analyse and address breaches swiftly, businesses could gain the advantage over would-be attackers.
"Turning the tables to become the hunter rather than hunted,” he said.