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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.