U.S. Government Grapples with Security

Dennis Faas's picture

We hear a lot about Internet threats as they develop, but how are these scares addressed by the government? According to one survey, the potential for disaster has convinced about 65% of the country's government-employed IT managers to spend more time on security than they did in 2006.

The recent survey was conducted by Cisco Systems, no slouch in the security sphere. The security firm found that spyware and bots remain the top concern of most answering the survey, with security breaches and poor training finishing second and third. Part of the reason for spyware's infamous rise has something to do with privacy, or the threat to its sanctity.

Although sixty-five per cent of Cisco's respondents answered that they've found it necessary to spend more time on crafting security mandates than they did in 2006, just four per cent found that they were spending less time on similar projects. As for confidence in those defense systems, the numbers are hardly encouraging. Only 51% say they're sure that their company or agency's Internet defence is better built to protect against threats than it was three years ago.

It's a bit surprising for Market Connections Inc. vice president Aaron Heffron. "Over the past three years, we haven't seen the decrease in time spent and the increase in confidence that you might expect to see with an ongoing effort...We're not seeing that [confidence] number shift like you'd want to see." (Source: pcworld.com)

So, what will increase that waning confidence in the government's defense against hacking and piracy?

According to Cisco's survey, about two-thirds believe the first answer is to increase funding. Second in importance is user training, with third going to an enhancement of existing security infrastructure.

While spyware and bots have become huge concerns for the average Internet surfer, it's the first time they've made the top list of concerns in Cisco's study. "We're seeing more and more federal customers concerned with bots and spyware and the impact on their environment," said Dave Graziano, manager of Cisco sales and security. It makes sense, given the marked increase in bot and spyware attacks on federal agencies in recent months.

Still, it's not all doom and gloom, even for the government. Almost sixty per cent of respondents have great expectations for new Internet Protocol IPv6, a measure they believe could revolutionize cyber security. (Source: arnnet.com.au)

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