Cyber attacks ongoing, more sophisticated

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 06:04 PM gHale

One third of respondents in agencies tied to national security experienced a cyber attack by a foreign nation or terrorist organization over the last year, according to a survey.

Nearly three-quarters of the over 200 respondents who work in national defense and security departments or agencies also said the possibility is “high” for a cyber attack by a foreign nation in the next year, according to officials at Lumension Security, the data protection firm that sponsored the study.

[private]Here are some key findings in the survey:

  • 33% of respondents who work for departments or agencies affecting national security say they have experienced an attack by a foreign nation or terrorist organization in the last year;
  • 61% of respondents view the threat of a cyber attack from foreign nations against critical U.S. IT infrastructure in the next year as “high”;
  • 42% of respondents believe the U.S. government’s ability to prevent or handle these attacks is only fair or poor;
  • 64% of respondents identified the increasing sophistication and growth in the volume of cyber attacks as the number one IT security risk; and,
  • 49% of respondents believe that negligent or malicious insiders/employees are the largest IT security risk.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to our infrastructure, we are already under attack and are faced with the reality of a growing and advanced persistent threat from foreign entities that are targeting our critical U.S. infrastructure,” said Pat Clawson, Lumension’s chairman and chief executive. “The traditional government responses we’ve seen so far, such as naming a security coordinator, announcing a cyber security initiative and focusing on compliance initiatives will not alone successfully address this problem.”[/private]

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