Anonymous hacktivists have security industry scared

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Well, they will be pleased. Hacktivists such as the Anonymous collective are now the biggest fear keeping security professionals awake at night.

According to  Bit9's 2012 Cyber Security Survey of nearly 2,000 IT security experts, six out of ten believe their organization will be the target of hacktivists in the next six months - making you wonder what on earth they've done to think themselves so unpopular.

After hacktivists, the security bods are most afraid of cybercriminals and nation states, with China the focus of attention.

And they're not too confident of being able to fight attacks off, with three quarters believing that the endpoint security solutions on their laptops and desktops are weak.

"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," says Harry Sverdlove, CTO of Bit9. 

"Bit9’s survey highlights how the quickly changing cybercrimal landscape is impacting IT professionals worldwide."

Most security professionals are happy that their organization's keeping its own staff sweet, with only 28 percent worried that disgruntled employees are the most likely to target their companies.

Perhaps surprisingly, an overwhelming 95 percent believe cyber security breaches should be disclosed to customers and to the public. Almost half feel that breached companies should not only disclose the breach, but should also provide a description of what is stolen, and nearly a third say the attack method should also be shared.