Tuesday, 16th July 2019
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87 percent of security professionals say world is at cyberwar

Seventy-two percent believe nation-states have right to ‘hack back’ cybercriminals.

Venafi has publishedthe results of a survey on cyberwar and offensive hacking that evaluated the opinions of 517 IT security professionals attending the RSA Conference 2019. According to the survey, eighty-seven percent of respondents say the world is currently in the middle of a cyberwar.

“It’s clear that security professionals feel under siege,” said Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi. “With the increasing sophistication and frequency of cyberattacks targeting businesses, everyone is involved in cyberwar.”

Additional findings include:

  • Seventy-two percent believe nation-states should have the right to “hack back” by targeting cybercriminals who level attacks on their infrastructure.
  • Fifty-eight percent believe private organizations have the right to “hack back.”

Currently, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prohibits many retaliatory cyber defense methods, including accessing an attackers computer without authorization. The Active Cyber Defense Certainty (ACDC) Act addresses active cybersecurity defense methods and was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in October 2018. The ACDC Act proposes “to provide a defense to prosecution for fraud and related activity in connection with computers for persons defending against unauthorized intrusions into their computers.”

Bocek added: “Today, private companies do not have a legal right to actively defend themselves against cyberattacks. Even if this type of action were to become legal, most organizations are too optimistic about their abilities to target the correct intruder. Even with the most sophisticated security technology, it’s nearly impossible to be certain about attack attribution because attackers are adept at using a wide range of technologies to mislead security professionals.For many organizations, it would be better to focus on establishing stronger defense mechanisms. We’ve seen excellent growth in cloud, DevOps and machine identity technologies that allow digital business services to be restarted in the event of a breach, effectively delivering a knockout blow against attackers.”

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