[ISN] U.S. Businesses at Risk for Major Cyber Attack, IT Pros Say

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Jul 25 2002 - 03:37:59 PDT

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    [Rarely do I forward on a raw press release, usually I ask the PR
    bunnies to send me a news article after the press release is sent out
    (they almost never do) and that is why its rare to see a raw press
    release in InfoSec News. This time you will want to read all the fine
    print of this survey, and maybe in the corner of your office you will
    hear those Vikings chanting...  FUD, FUD, FUD, FUD, Lovely FUD, Lovely
    FUD, FUD, FUD, FUD.  :)
    The major problem I have with this survey is that its from polling 602
    IT Pros, and they are using that term lightly. Of the 602 IT Pros
    surveyed, Other as a job title is the largest group at 30% or 183
    people, (11 Information System specialists, 11 Web developers, 9 Data
    services, 8 Computer technicians, 8 Technicians unspecified, 6
    trainer/retention specialists, 6 Quality Assurance/tester 12 Other
    technicians specified, 8 Other network posititons, and 93 Other
    others. (whatever that really is) The next largest group was
    Executive/Manager with 24% or 146 people and not to bore you with the
    details the largest job title within that group with 19% is Other
    40% of these IT Pros have been at it for five years or less, with 30% 
    of them at 6-15 years. 
    39% of these IT Pros have no input on purchasing or developing online
    security or cyber-security. 30% have informal input on these
    recommendations, 18% have significant input, and 11% make the final
    Being this is a BSA survey, 92% of those surveyed have anti-virus 
    software installed on every computer, I'd be curious to know if 
    everyone of those machines have their own license, or if the network 
    has just one license shared on every machine. :)
    Nowhere in these survey reports do I see any mention or variation of
    security professional as a job title, I'm willing to bet a shiny new
    quarter that you could get the same results from this crowd if asked
    their opinions on mainframe computer purchases as I am sure these 602
    IT Pros can speak as authoritatively on that subject, as they have on
    cyber security.  I would love to see these survey questions asked to
    602 information security professionals and then see the results, but
    until then, this survey is just more FUD.  - WK]
    IT Pros Perceive Gap Between Threat of a Major Cyber Attack and U.S. 
    Businesses' Ability to Defend Against It
    BSA Press Release July 24, 2002
    Washington, D.C. - The Business Software Alliance (BSA), with its 
    media partner Business 2.0 Magazine, released the results of a poll 
    today of information technology professionals in which half of all IT 
    pros (47%) say that U.S. businesses are at risk of a major cyber 
    attack in the next 12 months. Additionally, nearly 2-in-3 IT Pros 
    (62%) say the risk of a major cyber attack on the U.S. has increased 
    since 9/11. Moreover, more than 2-in-3 IT pros (68%) say there is a 
    gap between the threat of a major cyber attack and U.S. businesses' 
    ability to defend against it. Nearly 3-in-4 IT Pros (71%) say that 
    U.S. businesses should devote more time and resources to defending 
    against cyber attacks than it did to addressing Y2K issues. 
    These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs poll 
    conducted on behalf of the Business Software Alliance between July 8, 
    2002 and July 10, 2002. Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs interviewed 602 
    IT professionals via Internet from a panel of more than 20,000 IT 
    professionals. With a sample of this size, the results are considered 
    accurate to within +/- 4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of 
    what they would have been had the entire IT professional panel been 
    surveyed. Ipsos-Reid US Public Affairs conducted two additional 
    surveys on behalf of the BSA regarding cyber security in order to add 
    context to the IT professional survey. The first was a telephone 
    survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, conducted between July 11 and July 14, 
    2002. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%. The second was a study of 1,094 
    U.S. Internet users conducted online. The margin of error is +/- 3.0. 
    IT Pros Say Risk of Major Cyber Attack on U.S. Businesses has 
    Increased Since 9/11. 
    Almost 2-in-3 IT pros (62%) say the risk of a major cyber attack has 
    increased since 9/11. 
    * Fewer than 1-in-10 IT pros (7%) say the risk of a major cyber attack 
      has decreased since 9/11. 
    IT Pros Say U.S. Businesses Likely to Face Major Cyber Attack Within 
    Next Year. 
    Half of all IT pros (47%) say it is likely that U.S. businesses will 
    be subject to a major cyber attack in the next 12 months. 
    * Among those IT pros most expert on security issues - those 
      responsible for their company's computer and Internet security - 
      60% feel a major cyber attack is likely within the next year.
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