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
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-2012-5701
Published: 2014-10-20
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in dotProject before 2.1.7 allow remote authenticated administrators to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the (1) search_string or (2) where parameter in a contacts action, (3) dept_id parameter in a departments action, (4) project_id[] parameter in a project ...

CVE-2012-5865
Published: 2014-10-20
SQL injection vulnerability in dispatch.php in Achievo 1.4.5 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the activityid parameter in a stats action.

CVE-2012-5866
Published: 2014-10-20
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in include.php in Achievo 1.4.5 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the field parameter.

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.