When Hackers Attack

Report: Hacktivists Continue to Worry the Hell Out of IT

Anonymous is what goes bump in the night, as far as security pros are concerned.

 Report: Hacktivists Continue to Worry the Hell Out of IT Anonymous and its ilk continue to scare the bejesus out of the Internet. Judging from this research report from cyber security firm Bit9, IT pros are braced for all kinds of hacktivist havoc.

The firm surveyed 1,861 IT and security pros, the majority from organizations bigger than 500 employees. 64 percent expect to face cyber attacks in the next six months, and 61 percent point to Anonymous and its hacktivist fellow travelers as the most likely attackers. More generally, a solid two-thirds of respondents believe we’re really seeing an uptick in the rate of attacks, thanks to more hackers, stronger state-sponsored efforts, and so forth. They’re not exactly pulling that out of thin air, either. For one thing, attacks on financial companies tripled year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012.

It doesn’t sound like IT folks are feeling too good about their current security solutions, either. A mere 26 percent feel that their organizations’ laptops and desktops are protected, which goes a long way toward explaining why it feels like major breaches occur every couple of weeks.

The answer, as always, is better best practices: Get employees to stop opening sketchy email attachments and using random thumb drives. But given that even a security juggernaut like RSA can be brought low by spear phishing, that’s far easier said than done.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com