The cybersecurity industry could soon be facing a series of "catastrophic" cyber attacks by 2020, according to the enterprise security division at HP.
Speaking in Westminster today, the division’s CTO Andrzej Kawalec said increased dependence on technology and greater connectivity was boosting the risk for individuals and companies, and could prompt the rise of "cyber mercenaries".
"Our information as individuals, professionals and organisations is going to become more pervasive and accessible for cybercriminals as it becomes so for ourselves," he said.
"The adversary we face is uniquely placed to out innovate us, to think about the malicious use of technology, to share info and to monetise that."
Of late hackers and the malware they produce was said to have "evolved", with online communities and marketplaces allowing hackers a greater degree of collaboration with one another, in part due to the rise of anonymising cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
However Kawalec said the IT industry still had a responsibility to connect users with the data they need, whether it be for work or personal purposes.
"Every time we help ourselves we place barriers to the free movement of information," he said. "And if there’s one thing our dear friends will exploit it’s these barrier points."
Speaking at another session at the European Information Security Summit, the bank BNP Paribas UK’s chief information security officer Robert Morgan also warned businesses had a lot of catching up to do, especially compared to the military groups he had previously worked for.
"When I went into the commercial world to say I was aghast was understatement.," he said.