World is at permanent cyber war say security professionals

Cyber war

Just in case you weren't worried enough by the coronavirus, a new survey of almost 500 security professionals released today by Venafi reveals that 88 percent of them believe the world is in a permanent state of cyber war.

In addition 90 percent are concerned that the most significant damage will be inflicted on digital infrastructure with the most vulnerable industries being those that are undergoing rapid digital transformation and are essential to daily life.

"Security professionals are under constant siege from very sophisticated threat actors targeting government, military and private organizations," says Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi. "Powerful attack methods, like establishing backdoors with machine identities, are now available as commodity malware, making it harder for security professionals to defend against these attacks."

Almost 60 percent of respondents say power, water, healthcare and transportation are equally vulnerable to a cyberattack that causes physical damage. 19 percent think that power is most vulnerable, followed by healthcare (12 percent) and transportation and water (tied at five percent).

"The sophisticated cyberattacks that are the hallmark of nation state attacks often target digital keys and certificates that serve as machine identities," adds Bocek. "These critical security assets are often poorly protected and provide attackers with the ability to hide in encrypted traffic, pivot across networks and eavesdrop on sensitive data. Any organization that isn't protecting machine identities at least as well as they protect usernames and password is at greater risk of becoming a victim of a cyberattack. And, unfortunately, these risks are unlikely to change in the near term because most organizations are just beginning to understand these risks."

The full survey results are available on the Venafi site.

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