Government, finance, telecoms and energy account for two-thirds of attacks.
The UK was more likely than any other country in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to be targeted by advanced persistent threats (APTs) in the first half of 2014, according to the security company FireEye.
17% of the attacks against the firm’s customers focused on Britain, with Germany the next hardest hit at 12%, followed by Saudi Arabia at 10%.
Richard Turner, vice president of EMEA at FireEye, said: "Advanced attacks are the new reality for business and government.
"By preparing an effective defensive strategy, organisations can avoid the risk of sitting on the sidelines as their data and intellectual property find their way to competitors, adversaries or hacktivists."
Malware attacks in the region were found to have nearly doubled in the same period, particularly against government, finance, telecoms and energy groups which accounted for two-thirds of total APT attacks.
FireEye warned that government institutions that maintain a large amount of citizens’ data are likely to be particularly at risk, and that state-sponsered attacks should be a concern for organisations in EMEA.
"Rather than building custom malware and exposing valuable zero day exploits, many threat actors behind targeted attacks use publicly or commercially available remote access Trojans," the company said.
"This pre-built malware often has all the functionality needed to conduct cyber-espionage and is controlled directly by the threat actor, who frequently possess the ability to adapt to network defences."