Risk
7/19/2007
01:27 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

China's Security Syndrome

InformationWeek Research's 10th annual Global Information Security Survey highlights some very different security concerns facing Chinese businesses as compared with their U.S. counterparts.

InformationWeek Research's 10th annual Global Information Security Survey highlights some very different security concerns facing Chinese businesses as compared with their U.S. counterparts.While U.S. businesses are generally considered to have a mature and stable corporate environment that's been grappling with IT security issues for years, China's more recent movement to the global business arena means the country is just beginning to pay attention to a lot of IT security concerns.

Chinese companies are generally three to five years behind North American and U.K. companies in terms of IT security, Alastair MacWillson, global managing director of Accenture's security practice, told me. Accenture helped InformationWeek Research put together the survey, and MacWillson shares his expertise in a story entitled, "China's Evolutionary Leap." "Security hasn't typically been fantastically high on their priority list."

Chinese businesses have a lot of catching up to do, which might explain why the average percentage of IT budget spent on information security is a whopping 19% in China, as compared with 12% in the United States. "That's quite an astonishing figure," MacWillson says, adding that the Chinese companies who responded to the survey clearly understand that China is far behind in terms of IT security and are spending to catch up to where they need to be.

This is likely to continue to change as the country's companies seek to do more business internationally. Bank of China, for example, "wants to adopt international standards across everything they do, so they need to adopt the control features of a Western bank," MacWillson says. Chinese businesses already are seeing the effects of this move into mainstream global markets, as 32% of Chinese respondents report having been the victim of a publicized data breach or data loss within the past 12 months, as compared with 6% of U.S. respondents.

Chinese respondents have been struck by fewer phishing attacks than U.S. respondents, 17% as compared with 31%, and this speaks to the smaller number of people in China who have access to online bank accounts, as compared to bankers in the United States, MacWillson says. If phishing attacks continue at the current pace, they're likely to become more of a problem for the country as more and more Chinese bank online.

China also has a notorious reputation for using counterfeit software, which can't easily be patched. While a sizable percentage of both U.S. and Chinese survey respondents were compromised as the result of a known operating-system vulnerability being exploited, this attack method was used against nearly two-thirds of all Chinese respondents, compared with 43% of U.S. respondents. Likewise, 41% of Chinese respondents were compromised through an exploit that took advantage of a known application vulnerability, as compared with less than a quarter of U.S. respondents. MacWillson notes that this could be the result of the large amount of pirated software being used in China. "They don't have access to the patches, so that may be why they're concerned about known exploits to operating systems," he says.

China is recognizing that it's got problems in these areas of security and they're being challenged to address them. "Multinationals are nervous about doing business in China because of the country's reputation for security," MacWillson says, adding that perhaps the high level of IT security spending indicated in the survey could be an attempt by Chinese companies to address these concerns.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-2413
Published: 2014-10-20
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the ja_purity template for Joomla! 1.5.26 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the Mod* cookie parameter to html/modules.php.

CVE-2012-5244
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Banana Dance B.2.6 and earlier allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) return, (2) display, (3) table, or (4) search parameter to functions/suggest.php; (5) the id parameter to functions/widgets.php, (6) the category parameter to...

CVE-2012-5694
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) before 0.1.3 allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) agentPhNo, (2) controlPhNo, (3) agentURLPath, (4) agentControlKey, or (5) platformDD1 parameter to frameworkgui/attach2Agents.p...

CVE-2012-5695
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) 0.1.2 through 0.1.4 allow remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that conduct (1) shell metacharacter or (2) SQL injection attacks or (3) send an SMS m...

CVE-2012-5696
Published: 2014-10-20
Bulb Security Smartphone Pentest Framework (SPF) before 0.1.3 does not properly restrict access to frameworkgui/config, which allows remote attackers to obtain the plaintext database password via a direct request.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.