April 23, 2012 at 3:22 PM ET
Nearly two-thirds of IT security professionals worldwide believe their companies will be the target of a cyber attack in the next six months, and 61 percent say that Anonymous and other hacktivist groups will be most likely the ones to target their organizations.
Cyber criminals, then "nation states," including China and Russia, are considered next on the list of likely attackers by 55 and 48 percent, respectively, according to the survey done by security firm Bit9. Only 28 percent think that "disgruntled employees" are the most likely to target their companies.
"The survey results put a spotlight on an interesting contradiction: on the surface, people are most afraid of embarrassing, highly publicized attacks from hacktivist organizations like Anonymous, but they recognize that the more serious threats come from criminal organizations and nation states," said Harry Sverdlove, chief technology officer of Bit9.
The company's 2012 Cyber Security Survey of 1,861 IT pros was done to "gauge the current state of enterprise security and identify the attack methods and cybercrimal groups that keep IT executives up at night."
Among the other findings:
The "good" news from the survey: 58 percent say that companies that put into place "best practices and better security policies are in the best position to improve enterprise security, and 19 percent believe individual employees play an important role in improving the state of security."
No one is especially trustworthy of government efforts in the cyber security realm. "Despite current plans to implement cyber security legislation, only 7 percent believe that government regulation and law enforcement will best improve security," Bit9 found.
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