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Vulnerabilities / Threats

Most Americans Believe U.S. Businesses Are Vulnerable To Cyberattack, Study Says

Ninety-three percent believe U.S. corporations are at least somewhat vulnerable to state-sponsored online attacks, Tenable report says

Americans believe that their corporations are vulnerable to state-sponsored cyberattacks, and they fear that the country is not ready to repel those attacks, according to a study released last week.

According to a study of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, 93 percent of Americans believe their businesses are at least somewhat vulnerable to state-sponsored attacks. Ninety-five percent believe U.S. government agencies are vulnerable to such attacks.

If the U.S. were to undergo a cyberattack, Americans are most concerned about disruption to utilities, such as water, electric, and gas (37 percent), the study says.

More people are concerned about disruption to communication infrastructure, such as phone and Internet (21 percent), than they are about disruption to transportation infrastructure (7 percent), the study says. Thirty percent are concerned about disruption to financial services.

Americans age 65 or over believe the U.S.’s engagement in cyberwarfare to be more likely, with 26 percent saying they considered the U.S. "very likely" to engage in such attacks in the next 10 years; only 9 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 believe it "very likely."

Sixty percent of Americans support increasing government spending to train and equip "cyberwarriors" to defend the U.S. against outside attacks, the survey says. Only 10 percent of respondents are opposed to this increase in spending.

Sixty-six percent of respondents in the survey believe corporations should be held responsible for cyberbreaches when they occur, according to the study. But an almost equal number of Americans, 62 percent, says government should be responsible for protecting U.S. businesses and corporations from cyberattacks.

"I think these rather conflicting results on who should be held accountable reveal that Americans want both the public and private sector working closely together on cybersecurity," says Ron Gula, a former cybersecurity expert with the NSA, and now CEO and CTO of Tenable Network Security.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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