Which is the bigger threat, missiles or hackers?

Which are you more afraid of, missiles or hackers? In a recent study of attitudes on cyber defense, respondents were about evenly split on the issue. Thirty-six percent rated cybersecurity more important than missile defense. A slightly larger group, 38 percent, rated missile defense more important.

The results are included in a report released in January by McAfee, "Cyber-Security: The Vexed Question of Global Rules."

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They were culled from a survey of 250 senior security practitioners from around the world. Cybersecurity ranked even higher when compared to border security. Forty-five percent said cybersecurity is just as important, while only 35 percent rated it less important than border security. More than half of the respondents agreed that there is a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals.

In a “stress test” of 21 countries included in the report, the United States received four out of five stars based on the maturity of its cybersecurity efforts, the same as Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Spain. The U.S. ranked behind Finland, Israel and Sweden, which scored 4.5 stars. No country received five stars.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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Reader Comments

Tue, Feb 28, 2012 SoutheastUS

I give only a slight lead to hackers. Why? They can disrupt power systems creating chaos in the attacked country. Also, unless a missile system is totally physically isolated (both wired and wireless communictations) from the internet, hackers could conceivably gain control of missile systems and either prevent launch or re-target them (depending on how targeting information is entered - if it is hard coded from physically setting dials/switches in the missile itself, that is pretty hack-proof without some inside help).

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