Survey shows IT professionals concerned about cyberwarfare, end users, and conducting international business

In a recent Tech Pro Research survey, 86% of respondents said carrying out international business presented security challenges, despite only 41% of respondents actually engaging in overseas business.
Written by Melanie Wachsman, Editor
Getty Images/iStockphoto

It's not a matter of "if" companies will become a victim of a cyberwarfare or cybersecurity attack but "when," as both types of attacks grow more sophisticated daily, putting millions--or billions--of company dollars, reputations, and data at risk. In a recent survey by ZDNet's sister site, Tech Pro Research, only 28% of the survey's 248 respondents were not a victim of some form of security attack.

Interestingly, 86% of respondents were highly or moderately concerned with cyberwarfare attacks more than they were with general security risks. In a similar survey conducted in 2016, only 14% of respondents were slightly worried about cyberwarfare; 16% weren't worried at all.

One reason for the heightened concern regarding cyberwarfare can be attributed to an increase in companies conducting some form of international operations. Of survey respondents, 41% participated in overseas business. Yet, 86% of respondents said participating in international business presented additional security challenges.

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End users to blame

Mobile devices were considered a company's weakest security link back in 2016. This shifted in 2018, as 44% percent of respondents ranked end users as their company's weakest security link (only 13% attributed the honor to mobile devices). This is most likely due to the understanding that devices don't cause security breaches, rather end users' actions do such as unwittingly clicking on suspicious links, opening attachments with malicious payloads, or leaving devices unlocked, and so on.

To no surprise, most respondents pointed out the need for improved end-user security training as well as education pertaining to overseas laws (25% of respondents indicated their own ignorance of overseas laws) to improve security.

This infographic contains more details from the research. For all the findings, download the full report 2018 Cyberwar and the future of Cybersecurity Report (available to Tech Pro Research subscribers).



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