Government Surveillance Poses Cyber-security Threats, ISPs Say
Ninety-one percent of ISPs in the UK are concerned that government surveillance efforts will compromise or weaken the security of their networks.While most internet and managed service providers see cyber-attacks on a weekly basis, the most common concern among the companies is that government surveillance will weaken network security and make providers a target of attackers, according to a report released by the UK Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA). The report, released Sept. 6, found that 54 percent of respondents were attacked at least every week. Currently, denial-of-service attacks and SQL injection attacks are the main types of cyber-threats Internet and managed service providers face, with 91 percent of respondents suffering a denial-of-service attack, 64 percent an SQL injection attack and 36 percent a phishing attack, the study found. The group urged the government to do more to educate consumers and make law enforcement more effective and responsive to cyber- incidents, while acknowledging the role of internet service providers, managed service providers and cloud providers in protecting their customers. "ISPs recognize that they have a role to play in keeping citizens and nations more secure," Andrew Kernahan, ISPA spokesman, stated in an email response to an eWEEK inquiry. While companies provide a variety of technical defenses and guidance to help secure their users, "this is only part of the solution and ultimately users need to follow basic cyber hygiene."
The study, based on a poll of an unspecified but "significant" portion of the ISPA's 200-plus members, found that 84 percent had contacted customers about a data breach. A similar number (83 percent) had reported at least one incident to police, but 30 percent had no follow-up from law-enforcement officials and half only had occasional contact from police, the survey found.