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Bitdefender survey: IT security managers worried about cyberwar consequences

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Nearly three-quarters (71pct) of the IT security executives believe that cyberwar poses a real threat to the companies they work for, but only one in five acknowledges not having a clear strategy to limit this risk yet, reveals the results of a global survey conducted by Bitdefender.

In the same context of online dangers, half of the respondents believe that cyberwar could have a visible impact on the economy in the next 12 months and therefore work on a strategy to limit the negative consequences for the company in the event of a potential conflict in cyberspace.

"Advanced cyberattacks seek to gain advantages over other countries and are primarily aimed at access to inside information and intellectual property and organizations and systems with a strategic role in national security, such as utility services and other critical infrastructures. Foreign actors can also be interested in the manipulation of public opinion in certain directions to influence elections, as it happened in the US and Europe. Especially the large companies are direct targets of cyberwar because, beyond their importance in the economy, they also have sensitive data that can turn into a significant addition for their competitors from other countries," it is mentioned in the conclusions of the specialist research.

According to the same source, 51pct of the IT security managers want to invest more in computer security and seek to convince company management of the risks they are exposed to and the potential consequences of a devastating attack.

Among the fears of employees in companies is the rise of ransomware, a computer threat that blocks access to certain data and offers to unlock the respective data in exchange for a reward. Thus, half of those surveyed noticed an increase in ransomware activity during the pandemic, and three quarters of the respondents to the survey expect an increase in the next year as well.

"While not having such effective safeguards in place, one in two IT security executives says the company they work for would pay the reward demanded by attackers in the event of infection to regain access to the blocked data or prevent its disclosure to the public, despite the fact that experts recommend not to fund cybercrime groups," the Bitdefender survey found.

The research was conducted in May this year through an online questionnaire and e-mail by Saphio Research for Bitdefender on a representative sample of 6,700 IT professionals from companies with over 10,000 employees and activities in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden.

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