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US cyber survey

Most cybersecurity industry people ahead of an exhibition when asked believe that a major breach of US critical infrastructure will occur in the next two years – and they don’t believe US defence and government agencies are prepared to respond. a survey of nearly 600 cybersecurity professionals. The report, which summarizes the results from the third annual Black Hat Attendee Survey, offers feedback from information security people on a variety of issues, including cyber threat risks, the Trump administration’s cyber policy, nation-state attacks, and the dangers faced by US enterprises.

Black Hat USA 2017 runs from July 22 to 27 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. About 40pc of the survey respondents work in critical infrastructure industries, including utilities, health care, financial services, and government. Only 26pc of those surveyed are confident that the US government and defense forces are equipped and trained to respond appropriately to an oncoming attack. 47pc said the Trump administration’s impact on cyber defense will be negative, while 26pc believe it would be positive, and 27pc were neutral.

Recent state-sponsored cyber attacks related to the US elections, cyber espionage on US corporations and the WannaCry ransomware worm have eroded IT security professionals’ confidence in critical infrastructure security. Nearly 70pc of respondents said that recent activity from Russia and China has made US enterprise data less secure and more than 60pc believe corporations should develop special online defenses to protect their critical data from state-sponsored hacking.

Attackers’ growing use of WikiLeaks to publish stolen information has also diminished the community’s trust in the nation’s ability to defend itself. Instances including the hack of Democratic National Committee emails and Shadow Brokers’ reveal of CIA hacking tools has solidified WikiLeaks as a frequent outlet for information exposure, so much so that more than 60pc of Black Hat survey respondents said they believe WikiLeaks is impacting the way corporations and government agencies conduct operations. Support of the use of WikiLeaks is still split among today’s professionals, as more than 30pc oppose the work done by WikiLeaks, 31pc favor it, and 37pc remain neutral.

With new findings related to cybersecurity on the US front emerging, it is also apparent that the issues highlighted by IT security on the enterprise side since 2015 are still not being addressed, it’s claimed. Nearly 70pc of respondents remain concerned they’ll experience a breach within their own enterprises in the next year and those concerns still stem from the same issues highlighted in Black Hat’s 2015 and 2016 reports: shortage of skilled security professionals, lack of prioritization from upper management, security budgets and spending, and more. These findings make it apparent that government and business leaders need to put forth greater effort to secure today’s defenses and prioritize security among their initiatives.

A third, 36pc of those surveyed believe the increased use of ransomware remains the most serious new threat faced by cybersecurity professionals; and half cited phishing and social engineering as their greatest concerns, while 45pc fear sophisticated attacks targeted directly at their own organisations.


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