Experts warn: Government ill-prepared for cyberattacks

New survey concludes agencies even less prepared than corporate world

An overwhelming percentage of security experts say cyberattacks against companies and government are increasing but neither group is properly equipped to protect itself, according to a cybersecurity survey released today.

More than 93 percent of respondents in the Narus 2010 Cyber Security Report said they believe attacks are on the rise. And approximately 88 percent said they think government agencies are not equipped to prevent such attacks or thwart them when they do occur, compared to 71 percent who said their companies were not ready for an attack.

In fact, only 12 percent of those questioned in the June survey agreed with the statement that critical government networks are protected.

Despite the Obama administration’s emphasis on cybersecurity, “the threat of cyberattacks remains a significant issue,” the survey said.

It cited a recent statement by Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, who called cyberspace the fourth area of warfare along with land, sea and air.

“We need to be able to respond to attacks, to intrusions, at network speed,” Lynn said.

The polling involved security professionals from a variety of industries and included one-on-one interviews.

Boeing Co. acquired Narus Inc., a provider of real-time network traffic and analytics software, in July.

The goal of the acquisition was to boost Boeing’s capabilities in delivering cybersecurity products and technologies to domestic and international customers, company officials said.

Boeing Co., of Chicago, ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

Reader Comments

Fri, Oct 22, 2010 Antivirus Software

I'm gonna have to agree with the 88% of people who think the government can't stop these cyber attacks. It is hard to imagine that they are a step ahead of the people creating viruses, etc. I think the best thing we can do is to make sure that we ourselves are protected. And of course if we're a business owner we should do our best to protect that business. Too many people underestimate the power of cyber attacks. Be on guard! --- Antivirus Software

Thu, Oct 7, 2010 LindaJoyAdams OK

Twice within the last week, the lights went out and our computer virus protection kicked in with a virus attack alert. The grid for the whole town was infected including the local truck stop that took 30 minutes to get the pumps rebooted. The outage only lasted a couple of seconds. I was in the middle of sending an e-mail to Congressman Boren when it occurred. OG2E couldn't figure out what the problem was. Sometimes weather or an animal or car accident hitting a pole could cause this. This is a mystery! But Microsoft told my computer: Virus attack and cleaned it out. Was this an attack? My computer illiteracy is showing? Linda Joy Adams

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