While the general cyber-threat level in 2005 was lower than in previous years, IBM warned in its 2006 Security Outlook report 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."
IBM predicted that 2006 will see a rise of new and more severe threats. Cyber-criminals will shift their attention from penetrating system security defences to enticing employees to execute Trojans and other malware to gain access to systems.
Attacks will also more commonly launch from emerging economies with weak legislation against cyber-crime, such as eastern Europe and Asia.
The computing giant projected that employees could cause trouble by inadvertently leaking confidential information through blogs, and that attackers will start using instant messaging to control networks of zombie computers.
IBM finally warned that the threat remains of a malware outbreak on mobile devices such as phones and PDAs.
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