McAfee, the US based leading antivirus software and computer security company, has released a survey which suggests that networks of critical infrastructure companies such as power, water, oil, telecom, finance, and transport, are targeted by cybercriminals and foreign countries on a regular basis and the situation is likely to worsen in next few years.
The report titled “In the Crossfire: Critical Infrastructure in the Age of Cyberwar”, which was authored by Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), is based on detailed interviews of around 600 IT and network security personnel who work at critical infrastructure enterprises in seven industrial sectors from 14 different countries.
The survey revealed that cyber attacks, similar to the one reported by Google recently, frequently targeted companies from a wide range of industries from across the world. It was reported that 20 percent of all participants reported extortion attempts on their company infrastructure. Meanwhile, only 10 percent respondents from countries like UK, UK and Germany reported extortion attempts. Alarmingly, in India, more than 40 percent respondents complained that their companies were subjected to extortion attacks.
Interestingly, the survey data suggested that the average losses resulting of a sophisticated cyber attack, which results in a 24-hour system outage, is around $6 million to over $8 million in the oil and gas sector.