The total cost of cybercrime to businesses around the world is set to surpass $2 trillion (£1.27 trillion) by 2019, according to new figures.
A study by Juniper Research note this will be almost four times the figures expected to be recorded this year and will largely be driven by attacks targeting existing IT and network infrastructure.
One driver of this is the increasing level of professionalism shown by criminals, with the emergence of a black market for cybercrime products such as malware creation kits. This will also mean a decline in the number of casual, activist attacks.
Juniper noted that so-called 'hacktivist' incidents have been highly successful and very prolific recently. In the years to come, the overall number of attacks of this nature is set to fall, although those do do occur are more likely to be successful.
North America will be the primary target for cyber criminals in the next few years, with six out of ten incidents targeting businesses in this region. However, this percentage will decrease over time as other parts of the world, such as the middle East and Asia-Pacific, become richer and more digitised.
However, one area where the risks may not be as severe as some have predicted is mobile malware and attacks targeting Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Report author James Moar observed that at present, these gadgets are not viewed as profitable enough to be worth the effort.
"The kind of threats we will see on these devices will be either ransomware, with consumers' devices locked down until they pay the hackers to use their devices, or as part of botnets, where processing power is harnessed as part of a more lucrative hack," he continued. "With the absence of a direct payout from IoT hacks, there is little motive for criminals to develop the required tools."
Despite this, the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020, which the research firm stated is a result of more business infrastructure becoming connected. Therefore, it will be vital for businesses focus more closely than ever on securing their systems and putting solutions in place that can alert them to a breach as early as possible.
Innovations from Encode, supported by IBM QRadar, can greatly assist with this, as they can provide business with the tools they need to detect and respond effectively to breaches, however they occur.