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Security Survey: Black Hat USA 2018 Conference Attendees Say…

Nearly 75 percent of security professionals don’t believe that individuals will be able to protect their privacy and online identity in the future, a new study said.

That only one-quarter of 300 surveyed information security professionals slated to attend Black Hat’s August conference in Las Vegas said people will be able to safeguard their personal data is particularly alarming considering it’s coming from a community tasked with doing just that. The study’s findings are featured in the fourth edition of its Where Cybersecurity Stands report.

One reason for the security pros’ trepidation is a growing concern over Facebook’s questionable data protection policies: 55 percent are telling users inside organizations to reconsider the data they share on the social media site. And, the pros are apparently taking their own advice -- 75 percent either don’t use Facebook or are paring down how much they engage with it.

Here are some more survey results:

Can the feds protect us from cyber attacks? Only 13 percent of respondents said they believe that Congress and the White House understand cyber threats and will take steps for future defenses.

How vulnerable is U.S. critical infrastructure? Nearly 70 percent (up 10 percent from 2017) believe that a successful cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure will occur in the next two years.

Only 15 percent believe that government and private industry are prepared to respond to a critical infrastructure breach.

More than 40 percent believe that a hack against critical infrastructure will come from a large nation-state such as Russia or China.

Should enterprises fear foreign cyber attacks? 71 percent said that recent activity springing from Russia, China and North Korea has made U.S. enterprise data less secure.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents across the U.S., Europe and Asia believe they will tackle a major security breach in their own organization in the coming year. Most don’t believe they have the staffing or budget to adequately defend against current and emerging threats.

Did Russia meddle in 2016? More than 50 percent believe that Russian cyber attacks affected the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Is cryptocurrency a good investment? Roughly 40 percent said don’t invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies even with the current chatter about big profits.

Are current defense technologies effective? Only encryption, multi-factor authentication tools and firewalls were cited as effective among a list of 18 defenses. About 40 percent said passwords are ineffective.

Have organizations complied with the Global Data Protection Regulation? About 30 percent don’t know if their organizations have complied and 26 percent don’t believe it applies to them.

What’s the prognosis? The results reflect “serious fears” on personal and professional privacy issues, Black Hat said. The government needs to do more to boost confidence in the nation’s ability to protect itself from the inevitable cyber attacks.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.