Security ThreatsThe Peaks and the Valleys
A new report finds that security threats concentrate themselves in certain industries and in certain countries.New research released this week by Riptech Inc., a Virginia-based company that provides security services to companies and organizations, suggests that there are widely varying rates of cyber attacks across countries, industries, and types of organizations. The companys "Internet Security Threat Report," which tracked cyber-attack data from 300 companies in more than 25 countries between July and December of 2001, finds that cyber attacks are not only on the rise, but are highly concentrated in the United States, and highly concentrated in the high-tech industry. The findings come at a time when some experts are suggesting that hackers may be slowing their efforts. Among the specific findings in Riptechs report are that the rate of attacks increased by 79 percent between July and December 2001, and a very small number of nations are the source of the vast majority of the attacks. Specifically, 30 percent of tracked attacks originated in the U.S., with South Korea next at 9 percent, followed by China at 8 percent. Adjusting for the number of Internet users in each country, the volume of attacks emanating from Israel is nearly double that from any other country. Riptechs research also revealed that some industries are targeted more frequently than others. Specifically, the high-tech, financial services, media, and energy sectors experience the most frequent attacks.
Although the report found widely varying numbers of attacks against small companies, Amit Yoran, president and CEO of Riptech, says that "information security has emerged as a strategic concern for all corporate decision makers." Riptechs numbers show that companies in its sample set with 500 or more employees suffered 50 percent more attacks than companies with fewer than 500 employees.