A massive 90% of businesses in the United Kingdom expect the number of cyber-attacks to grow over the next two years. The majority of companies polled said that they are increasing their cyber security spend, according to the ‘Business and the Cyber Threat: The Rise of Digital Criminality’ report conducted by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.

The study found that 67% of British companies said that organised cybercriminal groups are the greatest cyber threat, as fraudsters are capable of carrying out more sophisticated attacks. More than half (57%) of the businesses questioned also said that the threat from cyber-attacks is among the top three risks for their company. Recently, the World Economic Forum issued a warning where cyber-attacks were listed among the top five biggest threats facing the world this year.

The majority of global respondents in the survey (58%) said that recent cyber-attacks on global businesses – such as banks and large retailers including Target – have resulted in their company increasing its cyber security budget.

In the United Kingdom, 40% of businesses estimated that if a cyber-attack on their company were successful it would cost the company over £50 million, while another 10% of companies said that the cost would be over £10 million. When participants were asked what they would be most concerned about if a cyber-attack were successful, 60% of them said that it would be the loss of customer data, 43% stated theft of intellectual property and 35% said that they would worry about any negative effect such an attack would have on their image.