A Cyber Arms Race Is Currently Taking Place, 57% of Experts Say

A recent study commissioned by McAfee and produced by the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA), a Brussels-based defense and security think-tank, reveals the opinions of policy-makers and cyber-security experts in government, business and academia from 35 countries on the currently existent cyber threats and the measures that can be taken to mitigate them.

The figures from the report entitled Cyber-security: The Vexed Question of Global Rules show that 57% of experts believe that an arms race is taking place as we speak in cyberspace.

Some 36% say that cyber security is more important than missile defense and 45% even claim that it’s just as important as border security. Around 42% think that a potential attack on critical infrastructures is a major threat that could have wide economic consequences.

Interestingly enough, the report reveals that countries such as Finland, Israel, Sweden are far better prepared in case they’re targeted by a cyberattack, compared to China, Russia, Australia, the US, Italy, the UK and Poland.

“The core problem is that the cyber criminal has greater agility, given large funding streams and no legal boundaries to sharing information, and can thus choreograph well-orchestrated attacks into systems,” says Phyllis Schneck, vice president and chief technology officer, Global Public Sector at McAfee.

“Until we can pool our data and equip our people and machines with intelligence, we are playing chess with only half the pieces.”

While most experts agree that smartphones and cloud computing raise a completely new set of issues regarding security, more than half of them also reveal that in their opinion there is a shortage of cyber workforce.

When it comes to cyber security exercises, only 20% of the respondents have taken part in such drills, even though they’re considered highly important by most.

Finally, many consider that global treaties are an essential factor in the development of efficient policies, but some believe that they’re impractical because treaties are hard to verify and enforce.


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