Survey says: Anonymous is the most feared threat by IT professionals

anonymousWhat strikes terror in the hearts of IT professionals in Europe and the US? According to a recent survey, the Anonymous hacktivist group topped the list.

In its 2012 Cyber Security Research Report, security firm Bit9 surveyed more than 1,800 IT professionals and found that 61 percent considered the Anonymous hacktivists the most likely source of a cyber attack. More than 60% of the group also believed that their firms would be the subject of an attack within the next 6 months.

Those most concerned about the attacks belonged to companies with at least 500 employees, or were in charge of government security. At least 55 percent of the professionals believed that cyber criminals were in the top three likely attackers, and a number of those surveyed were also wary of nation states like China (28 percent) and Russia (13 percent).

Many of those surveyed — 61 percent — said that their fear is born from the rise in organizations of hackers, while 16 percent believe fears are due to the amount of hype generated by the media and 18 percent said their fears were based on their weak defenses.

Interestingly, the attack most feared, at 45 percent, is malware (Trojans, Rootkits, Worms), while Anonymous’ goto weapon, DDoS attacks, were only feared by 11 percent and SQL Injections were down to 4% of respondents. If breached, only 4 percent of security and IT professionals believe that the public shouldn’t be notified.

Fear can be healthy though. More than half of the respondents (58 percent) believed in their own potential and said better practices and better security policies would ensure cyber-security. Only 7 percent believed that government and law enforcement would be key, and 20 percent relied on individual employees within the organization.