• More must be done to educate young people about cybersecurity

The company’s research showed that many young people are more likely to turn to cybercrime rather than fight it. Well over half (57%) of under-25s consider hacking to be an ‘impressive’ skill, while just one in four (27%) have considered a career in cybersecurity. More than 1 in 10 said they would use their IT skills for secretive activities (16%) or financial gain (11%).

Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “Industry and education must do more to recruit the younger generation of cyber professionals and the warning signs are clear. The frequency and profile of teenage cyberattacks is growing with each generation’s competency, as well as with the ready availability of ‘malware as a service’.”

Showing school children that creating software which protects networks can be more rewarding than creating malware could help to steer them towards the right path.

Kaspersky continued: “There is a skills gap that needs to be addressed by both industry and education if we are to enthuse young people about entering the cybersecurity workplace.

“This generation is closer to technology than any before, and will run rings around the industry soon enough, escalating the threat of cybercrime if they are not brought onside and given opportunities to blossom. Their talent should be harnessed and nurtured for society’s good.”