Corporate hacks doubled in 2015: The finance sector was cybercrime's biggest victim, with banks, investment funds and exchanges including bitcoin most likely to be targeted by cyber attacks

Clara Guibourg
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"We expect tougher safety standards from regulators" (Source: Getty)

Corporate hacks doubled in 2015, new research shows, with financial services more exposed to attacks than any other sector.

Financial services were most likely to be targeted by hackers - particularly investment funds, banks, and stock and currency exchanges.

Exchanges dealing in digital currencies like bitcoin have soared in popularity among cyber crooks.

Some six in 10 of all company computers were hit by at least one attempted malware infection, according to the study done by IT security firm Kaspersky Lab.

Other ways hackers attempt to gain access to corporate data included internet-based attacks, which 29 per cent were exposed to, and local threats, like usb sticks containing viruses, which hit 41 per cent.

If this news wasn’t enough to bring cybercrime higher on boardroom agendas, new strict EU data protection laws might just force it there. Lawmakers have just agreed to a milestone regulation for all member states which both enforces company disclosure, and imposes steep sanctions.

Kaspersky Lab’s senior security researcher Yury Namestnikov told Tech City News:

We expect tougher safety standards from regulators, which could lead to more cyber-criminals being arrested in 2016.

The UK has also been ramping up its efforts to combat the growing threat, doubling cybersecurity spend to an extra £1.9bn over the next five years in the face of several high-profile hacks against British firms including TalkTalk, Carphone Warehouse and Wetherspoons.

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