A survey performed by Tenable Network Security shows that most Americans believe cyber warfare is imminent. They think the US will either attack, or be attacked in the next decade.
Of the 1,021 respondents, all aged over 18, 60% say they support the increasing government spending on cyber warriors whose main task is to defend the US against cyberattacks. Interestingly, only 10% of US citizens oppose the increase in spending.
94% of those who took part in the study support the President having the same level of authority to react to cyberattacks as he would to physical attacks.
On the other hand, around the same percentage believes corporations, businesses, and even US government agencies are at least somewhat vulnerable to attacks from cyberspace.
It’s clear that all this talk about protecting critical infrastructures has impacted the opinion of many US citizens. 92% of them believe public utilities are at risk of being impacted by state-sponsored attacks.
In the event of a major cyberattack against the US, most would be concerned about disruption to utilities (37%). 21% are concerned about losing their phone and Internet connections, and 7% are concerned about the transportation infrastructure.
Despite the recent attacks on US banks, only 30% are concerned about disruptions to financial services.
“It's clear American citizens see the threat of cyber conflict around the corner, and the nation's state of readiness for such attacks is a major concern,” explained Ron Gula, a former cyber security expert with the NSA and now CEO and CTO of Tenable Network Security.
“Americans also want to see more done in both the public and private sector, with the government leading the way in setting standards and ensuring that important networks are protected. Given this strong level of support across age groups and demographics, we may see cyber security move up the list of critical policy and legislative proposals,” he added.