The increased interconnectivity of the global economy means that many businesses and individuals are likely to be more exposed to the risk of a cyber breach, a new study has warned.
This was among the key conclusions of Trend Micro's latest quarterly threat report, which noted that criminals are increasingly taking advantage of mobile platforms, while attacks are becoming less isolated and leading to a greater impact in the real world.
Raimund Genes, chief technology officer at the company, commented: "The emergence of numerous vulnerabilities and other data breaches that occurred in this quarter are bound to release more confidential and potentially destructive information to the public, which could then be sold to the highest bidder on the Deep Web."
Among the report's findings were that mobile devices have become more vulnerable to attack, following the discovery of more weak points in both the Android and iOS operating systems. However, Trend Micro noted that it is pleasing to see Google finally commit to regular security updates to Android after a recent spate of newly-uncovered vulnerabilities.
These discoveries highlighted the need for a more integrated set of security strategies for mobile platforms, while at the same time, modified versions of app creation tools debunked the notion that the iOS 'walled garden' approach to security will spare the platform from attacks.
Elsewhere, the growing trend towards dumping data gained in hacking attacks online is also set to have a wide-ranging impact that will be felt into 2016. This information can be used by hackers to fuel further attacks and enable extortion.
What's more, when stolen data that could tarnish victims' reputations is released publicly, as was the case in the Ashley Madison and The Hacking Team breaches, this can cause far greater damage than simple business disruption.
Tom Kellermann, chief cyber security officer at Trend Micro, observed that incidents have become more "punitive", with attacks no longer taking place in isolation.
"To mitigate future breaches and reduce risk, enterprises must focus on intrusion suppression and address the advent of secondary infections," he added. "Integrating breach detection systems with intrusion prevention systems is fundamental to decreasing the time hackers dwell on their networks."