IBM has warned that online threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

"With stiffer penalties and increased security protection on most systems we are seeing organised, committed and tenacious profiteers entering this space," said Cal Slemp, vice president of IBM's security and privacy services.

"This means that attacks will be more targeted and potentially more damaging. Organisations around the world from the public and private sectors must move quickly and work together to address this growing challenge."

The company has predicted that this year will see a sharp rise in attacks. IBM expects that malicious hackers and other cyber criminals will shift away from penetrating system security defences to tempting folks to execute Trojans and other malware to get their dirty work done.