57 percent believe a cyber arms race is currently taking place: McAfee
Added On:5/3/2012 12:52:00 PM
McAfee has revealed the findings from a report; Cyber-security: The Vexed Question of Global Rules that paints, for the first time, a global snapshot of current thinking about the cyber-threat and the measures that should be taken to defend against them, and assesses the way ahead. The SDA, the leading defense and security think-tank in Brussels, interviewed leading global security experts to ensure findings would offer usable recommendations and actions. The report was created to identify key debate areas and trends and to help to governments and organizations understand how their cyber defense posture compares to those of other countries and organizations.
Here are some noted findings:
• 57% of global experts believe that an arms race is taking place in cyber space.
• 36% believe cybersecurity is more important than missile defense.
• 43% identified damage or disruption to critical infrastructure as the greatest single threat posed by cyber-attacks with wide economic consequences (up from 37% in McAfee’s 2010 Critical Infrastructure Report).
• 45% of respondents believe that cybersecurity is as important as border security.
• The state of cyber-readiness of the United States, Australia, UK, China and Germany all ranked behind smaller countries such as Israel, Sweden and Finland (23 countries ranked in report).
McAfee asked the SDA, as an independent think-tank, to produce the most informed report on global cyber defense available. The SDA had in-depth interviews some 80 world-leading policy-makers and cybersecurity experts in government, business and academia in 27 countries and anonymously surveyed 250 world leaders in 35 countries. As the only specialist security and defense think-tank in Brussels, SDA has become one of the world’s leading forums for the discussion of international defense and security policies. The methodology used for rating various countries’ state of cyber-readiness is that developed by Robert Lentz, President of Cyber Security Strategies and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber, Identity and Information Assurance.
Other key report findings from the SDA report include the following:
• Need to address expected shortage of cyber workforce: More than half (56%) of the respondents highlight a coming skills shortage.
• Low level of preparedness for cyber attacks: China, Russia, Italy and Poland fall behind Finland, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Spain and the United States.
• Cybersecurity exercises are not receiving strong participation from industry: Although almost everyone believes that exercises are important, only 20% of those surveyed in the private sector have taken part in such exercises.
• Risk assessment: Prioritize information protection, knowing that no one size fits all. The three key goals that need to be achieved are confidentiality, integration and availability in different doses according to the situation.
• Balance between security and privacy: Improve attribution capability by selectively reducing anonymity without sacrificing the privacy rights.
While many respondents believed that global treaties were an essential factor in the development of sound policy, some also suggested the establishment of cyber-confidence building measures as alternatives to global treaties, or as a stopgap measure, since treaties are seen as unverifiable, unenforceable and impractical. Stewart Barker, the former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, stated that treaties “delude western countries into thinking they have some protection against tactics that have been unilaterally abandoned by other treaty signatories.”
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