GCHQ: UK critical services cyber threat is real

The UK Government also faces a high number of threats on a daily basis, Lobban explained, and some have been successful in causing serious problems.

Over 20,000 malicious emails make their way onto Government networks each month, 1,000 of which deliberately target them, he said.

"It is true that we have seen worms cause significant disruption to Government systems both those targeted deliberately against us and those picked up from the internet accidentally," he added.

Lobban also warned cyber threats go "to the heart of our economic well-being and national interest."

Law enforcement and intelligence bodies are collaborating on methods to curb the rising problem of cyber crime and are developing the same kind of holistic approach used against the drugs trade, he added.

Globally, the cyber crime industry is now believed to be more profitable than the drugs trade.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.