Cybersecurity arms race already on

More than half of global security experts believe that an arms race is already taking place in cyberspace, according to McAfee.

More than half of global security experts believe that an arms race is already taking place in cyberspace, according to McAfee.

The digital arms race is already underway, according to many global experts and their opinions included in McAfee's global cyberdefence report.

At least 57 per cent of the study participants concurred with this point, while another 36 per cent went so far as to argue that cybersecurity is more important than missile defence.

For reference, the report, conducted by the Brussels-based Security & Defense Agenda think tank, is based upon responses from 80 policymakers and cybersecurity experts in government, business and academic sectors in 27 countries — not to mention anonymous surveys of more than 250 world leaders in 35 countries.

Out of the 23 nations ranked within the study, the smaller ones proved to be more prepared for cyberthreats — most notably Israel, Sweden and Finland, which received a ranking of 4.5 out of 5 — than larger countries such as the US and Australia. The US received a ranking of 4 out of 5, bringing it level with countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and Estonia. Australia received 3.5 out of 5 as did Austria, Japan and Canada. China, Russia, Italy and Poland only received 3 out of 5, while Brazil, Mexico, India and Romania ranked even lower.

Phyllis Schneck, chief technology officer for the global public sector at McAfee, explained the heavily looming threats in the report:

The core problem is that the cybercriminal has greater agility, given large funding streams and no legal boundaries to sharing information, and can thus choreograph well-orchestrated attacks into systems. Until we can pool our data and equip our people and machines with intelligence, we are playing chess with only half the pieces.

Unfortunately, it seems the private sector is even less prepared as only 20 per cent of that group affirmed taking part in cybersecurity exercises and precautions, while 56 per cent of respondents admitted that we're on the cusp of a skills shortage among the growing cyberworkforce.

So what is there really to be afraid of? Plenty, and 43 per cent pointed towards damage or disruption to critical infrastructure as the single greatest threat posed by cyber attacks with wide economic consequences.

Via ZDNet US


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