Businesses across the UK are lagging behing in the cyber arms race with online criminals, according to a report by the UK's National Crime Agency which revealed there were 2.46 million cyber incidents in 2015 with a key threat coming from international gangs.
The report said: "Cyber-criminals targeting the UK include international organised crime groups as well as smaller-scale, mostly domestic, criminals and hacktivists. The NCA assesses that the most advanced and serious cyber-crime threat to the UK is the direct or indirect result of activity by a few hundred international cyber-criminals, typically operating in organised groups, who target UK businesses to commit highly profitable malware-facilitated fraud.
"These cyber-attacks include attacks directly targeting business systems and attacks against individuals.This cyber arms race is likely to be an enduring challenge, and an effective response requires collaborative action from government, law enforcement, industry regulators and, critically, business leaders."
In response to the threat, the government is to spend £1.9bn over the next five years on cyber-defences and plans to build a new National Cyber Security Centre.