The threat posed by cybercriminals appears to be growing stronger by the day, with UK businesses the most at-risk organisations globally, according to a new report.
While the news will come as great concern to UK businesses on the whole, it might prove affirming for those telecoms firms with intentions to enter the cyber security market.
As the study published by security firm ThreatMetrix reveals, organisations in Britain are even more vulnerable to attack than their counterparts in the US, which ranks second on the list.
It's not only local hackers who are trying to profit from firms in the UK, with criminals in Nigeria, Germany, the US and Mexico all carrying out regular attacks on British shores.
The findings, which are based on more than a billion transactions monitored each month by the ThreatMetrix's Digital Identity Network, suggest Britain is a hotbed for cybercrime, with UK-based criminals the second highest originators of attacks – trailing only the US.
UK businesses have been particular quick to adopt digital solutions, which might suggest why they have emerged as a prime target for hackers, says Stephen Moody, European solutions director at ThreatMetrix.
"The more businesses and consumers turn to the digital space to store and manage their financial information, the greater the opportunity for fraudsters, and ensuring digital identities are effectively protected should be high priority for everyone," he said.
Meanwhile, a separate study from insurer Allianz Global claims cybercrime is costing UK businesses around £2.8 billion annually and consumes 16% - £289.6 billion – of gross domestic product (GDP).
Chris Fischer, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, said: "As recently as 15 years ago, cyber-attacks were fairly rudimentary and typically the work of hacktivists, but with increasing interconnectivity, globalisation and the commercialisation of cybercrime there has been an explosion in both frequency and severity of cyber-attacks."