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SURVEY: GOVERNMENT WILL SUFFER MAJOR CYBERATTACK

Source: Security Wire Digest

Posted on June 27, 2002

      A report released earlier this week by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Entrust reveals that a majority of IT professionals believe the U.S. government will be victimized by cyberterrorism in the next year. Almost all -- 84 percent -- of the 395 IT managers polled, who represent a variety of business sectors, said they also believe that federal agencies are woefully unprepared to defend themselves against major security breaches.

      "These respondents are IT leaders who are on the front lines of information security, so the results reveal a sense of urgency," says Robert Holleyman, BSA's president and CEO, a collaboration of 19 companies whose members analyze critical software and online security issues. "Government must fulfill its obligation to properly govern, so it's critical that the Bush administration and Congress move quickly to secure this nation. Cybersecurity is fundamental to our society."

      The survey results, which were released at the E-Gov conference in Washington, D.C., also indicated that 86 percent of respondents believe federal agencies need to devote more time and resources to cybersecurity than they devoted to Y2K. "Industry and government worked together to ward off this one-time problem," says Bill Conner, president, chairman and CEO of Entrust, a provider of Internet security services. "Just as we continue to upgrade our military offensive, the same diligence is needed to protect the nation's critical infrastructure."

      Experts who reviewed the report were more cautious.

      "The survey was inconclusive as to whether current online federal protection measures are adequate," said Anil Phull, senior analyst at The Yankee Group. Nearly one in four respondents believe Washington has built adequate security provisions into its e-government program. "While I agree that there needs to be a team approach across the federal government to prevent an attack, the government isn't a for-profit company, so there are going to be some inefficiencies," he says.




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