According to analysis by anti-virus software provider Trend Micro, there would be a trend towards 'worms', as opposed to more traditional methods of attack, such as macro viruses, which have declined.
Attacks are spreading via mass-mailing features, shared drives and peer-to-peer instant messaging, the vendor claimed.
The data also showed a move towards the development of blended or multiple threats.
Mark Fisher, technical manager at Trend Micro, claimed the industry was bracing itself for the year ahead. "Recent studies showed that corporate forecasts are at last including budget to increase network protection. We have seen some large developments last year which will continue into 2003," he concluded.