The hacking battle waging between governments will carry on for at least the next 10 years, according to F-Secure security expert Mikko Hypponen.
Hypponen warned that the cyber threat facing businesses will continue to grow and get exponentially worse over the next 10 years during a speech at Infosec in London on Wednesday.
"The biggest change of all over the last 10 years is that governments have joined the game," said Hypponen
"In 2003 if people had told me governments were making malware and backdoors and were using them against other governments for spying, for espionage, to attack power plants I wouldn't have believed it, but here we are and I believe we'll still be here in 10 years time.
"There are bad people out there and they'll continue to do bad things, that's our reality and we have to deal with it."
The Finish security expert warned that the cyber threat posed by criminal groups will also continue to grow.
"We're here because the enemy has changed. Ten years ago the owners of Slammer and other malware weren't criminals stealing money they were hobbyists. If we were still fighting the same enemy we were in 10 years that would great - we'd be winning," said Hypponen.
"Money making didn't exist in the malware community. Today that's the biggest problem we have."
Hypponen said that although the threat has grown the security community has responded well and is well placed to deal with the evolving attacks being developed. The F-Secure chief highlighted Microsoft for its positive contribution to the security community over the last 10 years.
"In 2003 you most likely used Windows XP service pack one, so no firewall. You also had no auto updates, if you wanted to patch you had to go to the browser and to Microsoft and run it manually. The situation was grim in 2003 that's why we had the malware outbreak," said Hypponen.
"But things changed for the better Microsoft learned, it had to. You can't even begin to compare Windows XP security to Win 8. It's like night and day. It's been the best 10 years ever for computer security."
Hypponen's warning mirrors that of many security vendors. Prior to it, founder and chief executive officer of Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky warned that it is only a matter of time before terrorist groups begin mounting cyber attacks on governments and businesses.
Use the same password for every website? It might be time to change them all
Applicants for parking bay suspensions put at risk of credit card fraud by Islington Council
Robert Swan appointed interim CEO after Brian Krzanich's departure
Should you link your data sets to add value, or leave them separate to reduce risk?