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60 Per Cent Of IT Professionals Fear Hacktivists

Bit9 has revealed the results of its 2012 Cyber-Security Survey, namely that concerns over attacks by hacktivist groups, along with state-sponsored cyber-actions, are the biggest worries for IT security experts.

The survey of some 2,000 IT security professionals found that 64 per cent believed their company would be hit by a cyber-attack in the next six months.

When asked who they thought was most likely to be behind that attack, hacktivist organisations such as Anonymous were fingered as the most likely source by 61 per cent of respondents. In second place were cyber-criminals, with 55 per cent of experts believing the attack would originate from this group of online ne'er-do-wells.

48 per cent figured the next cyber-action against their firm would come from a nation state, specifically China or Russia. Only 28 per cent felt a cyber-attack would likely be due to an unhappy ex-staff member.

Three-quarters of those questioned felt that the security solutions on their laptops and desktops weren't doing enough to protect their company's intellectual property from cyber-thieves.

When it came to attack vectors, 62 per cent were most worried about targeted attacks, with 45 per cent concerned about malware and 17 per cent spear phishing techniques, those commonly used in criminal and espionage actions.

Hacktivist's run-of-the-mill methods, on the other hand, generated less worry, with only 11 per cent fretting about DDoS attacks, and 4 per cent SQL Injection.

Harry Sverdlove, CTO of Bit9, commented: "The survey results put a spotlight on an interesting contradiction: on the surface, people are most afraid of embarrassing, highly publicized attacks from hacktivist organizations like Anonymous, but they recognize that the more serious threats come from criminal organizations and nation states."

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.