The threat of cyber-war and cyber-attacks is serious enough that countries need to beef up their defenses as part of their military strategy.
experts are concerned about the prospect of cyber-war and the growing number of
cyber-threats, according to a recent report released by McAfee.
half, or 57 percent, of cyber-security specialists surveyed in the "Cyber-security:
The Vexed Question of Global Rules
" report said a global arms race is taking
place in cyberspace, McAfee said Jan. 30. In addition, 84 percent of those
surveyed said cyber-attacks threaten national and international security as
well as trade.
felt cyber-security should be considered a part of the country's military
defense. About 36 percent of respondents said cyber-security is more important
than missile defense. Another 45 percent believe cyber-security is as important
as border security.
the moment, the 'bad guys' have the upper hand-whether they are attacking
systems for industrial or political espionage reasons, or simply to steal
money," the researchers wrote in the report.
are able to "choreograph well-orchestrated attacks" because they have
large funding streams, are more agile and don't operate under any legal
restrictions when it comes to sharing data, Phyllis Schneck, McAfee's vice president
and CTO, said in the report. "Until we can pool our data and equip our
people and machines with intelligence, we are playing chess with only half the
defense industry has a "solid partnership" with the Department of
Defense to share threat intelligence, but this type of relationship needs to be
expanded to include other industries, Kevin Gronberg, senior counsel of the
Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives, said in the
the report also found that the private sector is not well-prepared to handle
cyber-attacks. Only 20 percent of the respondents from the private sector said
their organizations are taking part in cyber-security exercises or taking
precautions, according to the report. About 56 percent of respondents claimed
there is a skills shortage among the cyber-workforce.
report also rated the "cyber-readiness" of various countries based on
how a nation's defenses are perceived by cyber-experts. Size or wealth doesn't
necessarily translate to the country's ability to defend itself against
emerging threats and attacks, the report found.
none of the countries got the highest five-star rating, Israel, Sweden and
Finland were ranked with four-and-a-half stars and were perceived as being the
most prepared to deal with cyber-attacks. The United States, Denmark, Estonia,
France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom were rated four
Italy, Poland and Russia were rated with only three stars, and Mexico was
considered to be the worst prepared of the 23 countries rated.
has taken the spectacular increase in cyber-attacks for political leaders in
the United States, the European Union and part of Asia to sit up and take stock
of the costs," the researchers wrote.
67 percent of the respondents said the United States and other countries should
create regulations to block criminals and attackers from conducting cyber-espionage
or damaging critical infrastructure. In the report, 43 percent of respondents
said damage or disruption to critical infrastructure is the greatest single
threat that has wide economic consequences.
enforcement authorities should also be given more power to fight crime that
crosses national borders, the report suggested.
commissioned Security & Defence Agenda, a nonprofit research group in
Brussels, to conduct the study. The report included responses from 80
policymakers and cyber-security specialists in government, business and
academic sectors in 27 countries, as well as responses collected from anonymous
surveys of more than 250 world leaders from 35 countries.