Risk
1/29/2010
01:08 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Government's Cybersecurity Role Gets Mixed Reaction

A survey of critical infrastructure executives finds mixed views on government's role in cybersecurity in the private sector.

A worldwide survey that shows widespread cyber attacks on critical infrastructure companies finds that the role of government in working to stop those attacks is up in the air. Indeed, a majority of respondents believes governments to be among the culprits.

Overall, more than half of the 600 industry executives surveyed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, with support from security vendor McAfee, think their nation's laws aren't strong enough to deter cyber attacks, and 45% believe that their countries are incapable of preventing attacks.

The survey comes as a heated debate has emerged about the proper role of government in bolstering cybersecurity in the private sector. In his first public speech as White House cyber coordinator earlier this week, Howard Schmidt said that fostering public-private partnerships is among his top agenda items.

The survey does find, by a thin margin, a belief that government regulation is improving security. "I have sensed for a year or more that industry, which used to think that the government didn't need to get involved, doesn't have any confidence that they can solve this problem on their own," Stewart Baker, distinguished visiting fellow at CSIS and a partner at law firm Steptoe & Johnson, said in an interview.

In all, 58% of respondents said that government regulation had "sharpened [corporate] policy and improved security." However, on this question, just as on others, the views diverge widely among different countries. In China and Germany, for example, more than 60% believe government regulation has been helpful, while only a minority held that view in Italy and Australia.

Only about a third of respondents said that they were involved in a public-private partnership. However, the report notes, that in some countries, such as the United States, where participation in those partnerships is higher, "data suggests that industry concerns persist about information-sharing being a one-way street."

Somewhat counter-intuitively, despite frequent reports of data breaches and successful cyber attacks against companies in the United States and the fact that survey respondents ranked the United States among the countries most vulnerable to attacks, they also looked to light regulation in the U.S. as a model for cybersecurity.

Part of the mixed view on government's role in private sector cybersecurity may come from the fact that many companies think they are in fact under attack from government cyber warriors. About 60% of respondents believe governments are already attacking their infrastructure, with the United States as the leading suspect, followed by China and Russia.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2027
Published: 2015-03-31
eGroupware before 1.8.006.20140217 allows remote attackers to conduct PHP object injection attacks, delete arbitrary files, and possibly execute arbitrary code via the (1) addr_fields or (2) trans parameter to addressbook/csv_import.php, (3) cal_fields or (4) trans parameter to calendar/csv_import.p...

CVE-2014-2830
Published: 2015-03-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in cifskey.c or cifscreds.c in cifs-utils before 6.4, as used in pam_cifscreds, allows remote attackers to have unspecified impact via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-7876
Published: 2015-03-31
Unspecified vulnerability in HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) firmware 2 before 2.27 and 4 before 2.03 and iLO Chassis Management (CM) firmware before 1.30 allows remote attackers to gain privileges, execute arbitrary code, or cause a denial of service via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-9462
Published: 2015-03-31
The _validaterepo function in sshpeer in Mercurial before 3.2.4 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a crafted repository name in a clone command.

CVE-2014-9706
Published: 2015-03-31
The build_index_from_tree function in index.py in Dulwich before 0.9.9 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a commit with a directory path starting with .git/, which is not properly handled when checking out a working tree.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.