The average number of information security incidents detected by Chinese companies has increased over 900 percent since 2014, according to a survey conducted by international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The survey showed that the internet of things (IoT) has become a leading target of cyber attacks, though just 57 percent of Chinese respondents are investing in a related security strategy.
The average number of detected information security incidents by survey respondents in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong reached 2,577 over the last 12 months, marking a 969 percent increase from 2014, and more than doubling the average recorded in 2015.
In contrast, an average of 4,782 detected incidents was reported worldwide in 2016, a 3 percent drop from the global average number of detected incidents reported in 2014.
The survey said there had been a decrease in the information security budgets of the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong companies in 2016, with a 7.6 percent decline year-on-year.
Even so, 88 percent of those respondents acknowledged that digitisation has influenced their information security spending in 2016. They highlighted the need to align cyber security with business strategy and said that security governance was a top priority for spending over the period.
Moreover, 31.5 percent of respondents from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong stated a specific intention to invest in advanced security technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
The security of IoT devices has received widespread attention. Rapid adoption of IoT and lack of security awareness about IoT products is driving an increase in webcams or home automation devices being targeted and breached by cybercriminals.
"We can see that some forward-looking companies in the domestic market are increasing investment in advanced cyber security technology," said Samuel Sinn, Cybersecurity & Privacy Partner, PwC China.