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Vulnerabilities / Threats

12/1/2016
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Americans Fear Russian Hackers: Alertsec Survey

Alertsec's 2016 Security Breach Study reveals that 2016 hacks changed security practices and that Americans worry about Russian hackers

Palo Alto, CA, December 1, 2016 – Alertsec, the cloud-based encryption company, today released findings from its 2016 Security Breach Study. The study, fielded to more than 1,000 American adults, determined that this year’s Yahoo! hack affected consumers enough to change their security habits. It also revealed that when it comes to security breaches, Americans worry most about Russians, Anonymous and “petty thieves.”

2016 data breaches were a wake-up call

2016 saw many high-profile data breaches—the IRS in February, Premier Healthcare and Verizon in March, LinkedIn in May, the Democratic National Committee in July and, of course, the Yahoo! hack in September.

Fully 25 percent of Americans—and 29 percent of American men—say these hacks prompted them to get more strategic about their online security. The three breaches that prompted the most action were the Yahoo! breach (11 percent), the IRS hack (7 percent) and the Democratic National Committee hack (6 percent).

Russia at our door

Nearly half of Americans (48 percent) worry about hacker groups—especially men, and they mostly worry about Russia:

Which hacker group or entity are you most worried about impacting your life?

Men

Women

Russia

20 percent

16 percent

Anonymous

18 percent

14 percent

Petty thief

17 percent

12 percent

China

14 percent

11 percent


Parsed by age, Americans are consistently most afraid of Russia and Anonymous and least afraid of “the neighborhood nerd” (7 percent)—except for seniors, who view China as the greatest threat.

“These survey results illustrate that Americans are very concerned when it comes to cyber-attacks, especially those from other countries,” said Ebba Blitz, CEO of Alertsec. “However, there are many security options for consumers and businesses to adopt that provide secure protection for their users. For example, full-disk encryption is one of the most effective ways to protect data on a laptop.”

There are also some interesting regional variations. Americans in the West generally feel the least threatened by hackers, and Americans in the Northeast feel the most threatened:

Which hacker group or entity are you most worried about?

West

South

Midwest

Northeast

Russia

14 percent

18 percent

19 percent

21 percent

Anonymous

13 percent

15 percent

15 percent

19 percent

Petty thief

14 percent

13 percent

15 percent

17 percent

China

12 percent

11 percent

17 percent

11 percent

Neighborhood nerd

6 percent

7 percent

8 percent

8 percent

Survey Methodology

Alertsec commissioned the 2016 Security Breach Study to over 1,000 American adults from November 10 – 12, 2016 via Google Consumer Surveys.

Google Surveys makes use of the inferred demographic and location information to employ stratified sampling by distributing the surveys based on the targeted audience to their publisher network and/or android smartphone users. They infer demographics through respondents' browsing history, then they match them against existing government statistical data. Google Surveys uses post-stratification weighting to compensate for sample deficiencies to remove bias among the survey sample. This gives a more accurate result with lower root mean square error which also makes the results better represent the Current Population Survey. Google Surveys performs equal to or better than existing probability and non-probability based Internet survey panels. A full description of the Google Surveys methodology can be found in this product overview.

About Alertsec

Alertsec, a Palo Alto-based laptop encryption company, provides a cloud-based encryption software with 24/7 helpdesk support. No server, IT knowledge or training is needed, as everything is included in the subscription. The implemented encryption has the highest security certifications—FIPS and Common Criteria. Learn more atwww.alertsec.com.

 

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