Cyber security
A report has found that almost half of cyber spy incidents come from East Asia. Reuters

Almost half of cyber spying attacks can be traced back to East Asia, with most of them aiming to infiltrate data at companies in the US.

Cyber espionage occurrences tripled in the last year to reach 511 and 306 of these cases resulted in data being breached, according to Verizon's 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report.

Verizon found that 49% of these attacks can be traced by to East Asia, mainly China and Korea, and slightly over a fifth of the attacks came from Eastern Europe.

The report also found that 85% of the attacks were state-affiliated and 11% were the result of organised crime.

Others who are said to be spying on companies include former employees and business competitors.

A recent report from Vormetric, which surveyed 500 IT people at mid-large size organisations in the UK, found that 40% feel that insiders are the biggest threat to security breaches.

The top industries that were targeted were transportation, manufacturing and professional and public services, said Verizon.

The report says that attacks are growing at a rapid rate: "Most surprising to us is the consistent, significant growth of incidents in the dataset. We knew it was pervasive, but it's a little disconcerting when it triples last year's already much-increased number."

It also warns that if you are the victim of cyber espionage, it may be difficult to spot: "There's no fraud algorithm to alert victims about illicit use of such data, leaving many cases of espionage undiscovered."

Cyber security has been a big talking point in recent weeks following the 'Heartbleed' bug, which affects encryption of data sent over the internet allowing a user's password and other sensitive data to be spied on.