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McAfee-sponsored 'Cyber Defence' report identifies most 'cyber ready' nations

31 January 2012

IT security specialist, McAfee and the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA) have revealed the findings of a joint report: Cyber-security: The Vexed Question of Global Rules. It provides a global snapshot of current thinking about the cyber-threat and the measures that should be taken to defend against them, and assesses the way ahead. Brussels based security think-tank, SDA interviewed leading global security experts to ensure that findings would offer usable recommendations and actions.

Some of the significant findings of the report include:

- 57% of global experts believe that an arms race is taking place in cyber space.
- 36% believe cyber-security is more important than missile defense.
- 43% identified damage or disruption to critical infrastructure as the greatest single threat posed by cyber-attacks with wide economic consequences (up from 37% in McAfee’s 2010 Critical Infrastructure Report).
- 45% of respondents believe that cyber-security is as important as border security.

The state of cyber-readiness of the United States, Australia, UK, China and Germany all ranked behind smaller countries such as Israel, Sweden and Finland (23 countries were ranked in report).
The report lists six top actions:
- Real-time global information sharing required
- Financial incentives for critical improvements in security for both private and public sectors - Give more power to law enforcement to combat cross-border cyber crime
- Best practice-led international security standards need to be developed
- Diplomatic challenges facing global cyber treaties need to be addressed
- Public awareness campaigns that go beyond current programs to help citizens

Experts interviewed also agreed that developments like smart phones and cloud computing mean we are seeing a whole new set of problems linked to inter-connectivity and sovereignty that require new regulations and new thinking. Last year, McAfee issued a Q3 threat report that stated that the total amount of malware targeted at Android devices jumped 76 percent from Q2 of 2010 to Q2 of last year, to become the most attacked mobile operating system.

The report can be downloaded from the McAfee website

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