• United States



by Art Jahnke

Is Our Government Prepared for a Major Cyber Attack

Jul 19, 20022 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

A new survey conducted by the Business Software Alliance has found that almost half of all IT professionals believe that the government will be hit by a major cyber attack some time in the next year. Wait, it gets worse. One third of those who believe that a cyber attack is on the way also believe that such an attack is extremely likely, and almost three quarters think the government is unprepared.

How can the government get prepared? Cynical readers wont be surprised to learn that the BSA, a group of 19 powerful hardware and software manufacturers, recommends the immediate establishment of true private-public sector partnerships. In other words, the government should hire BSA members to help. And fast.

There is a true sense of urgency here, BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman writes in a press release about the alarming survey results. It is critical that the Bush administration and Congress move quickly on their commitments&to secure this nation and its infrastructure.

Deeply cynical readers may note that scare tactics are nothing new to the BSA. One recent BSA anti-piracy campaign included a series of radio ads that literally warned employers, Unless you have no current or former unhappy employees, you are only one phone call away from becoming a target of a BSA investigation. The ad was intended to persuade people to turn in their employers if the company they worked for was using software in violation of licensing requirements.

Is the BSAs new cyber attack survey just another effort to use fear to put money in the pockets of BSA members? Or is the governments cyber infrastructure at serious risk? What should the government do? Tell us what you think.