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Many U.S. Government Agencies Have Been Attacked, Survey Says

Three-quarters of federal IT decision-makers say likelihood of a foreign attack is 'high'
IT workers in the U.S. federal government say their systems are already under attack, and they don't expect the situation to get better in coming months.

According to a survey published today by Clarus Research Group and Lumension, nearly three-quarters of federal IT decision-makers who work in national defense and security departments or agencies say the possibility is "high" for a cyberattack by a foreign nation in the next year.

One-third of these respondents say they have already experienced such a cyberattack within the past year.

Forty-two percent of respondents believe the U.S. government's ability to prevent or handle these attacks is only fair or poor. Sixty-four percent of respondents identified the increasing sophistication and growth in volume of cyberattacks as the No. 1 IT security risk.

Only 6 percent of respondents rated the federal government's overall ability to handle possible cyberattacks as "excellent," the survey says. Difficulty integrating multiple technologies, aligning IT needs with department objectives, and complying with requirements were identified as the greatest challenges in managing IT security operations.

The majority of respondents said they felt more confident in their level of IT security today than they did a year ago.

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