With nation state led cyber attacks becoming a feature of the security landscape the OECD has warned that combined with a natural disaster hackers could exploit a perfect storm to wreak chaos.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a report today that is trying to predict some of the future threats to governments and the global economy and has put cyber attacks firmly on the radar.
The OECD report follows the British government's decision to raise the priority in tackling cyber security attacks.
The main warning in the OECD report, written by professor Peter Sommer of LSE and Dr Ian Brown from Oxford University, is the role cyber attacks would have if they took place when there had already been another disaster.
"In that eventuality, 'perfect storm' conditions would exist," said the report, which also added that cyber attacks would be a common feature of future wars.
Robert Chapman, CEO of Firebrand Training, said that it was working with ethical hackers to try and protect national IT systems.
"The Government has clearly indicated that it intends to tackle the very-real threat of cyber attacks head-on.," he said.
"In today's world of natural and terrorist disasters, we can't afford for IT systems to fail. Imagine an incident, where the emergency services can't be contacted, or safety processes can't be initiated. It's unthinkable," he added.