by February 6, 2010 0 comments

Mumbai, India: The company today revealed the staggering cost
and impact of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure such as
electrical grids, oil and gas production,
telecommunications and transportation networks. A survey of
600 IT security executives from critical infrastructure enterprises
worldwide showed that more than half (54%) have already suffered large
scale attacks or stealthy infiltrations from organised crime gangs,
terrorists or nation-states. The average estimated cost of downtime
associated with a major incident is $6.3 million per day.

The report �In the Crossfire: Critical Infrastructure in the Age of
commissioned by McAfee and authored by the Center for
Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), also found that the risk of
cyberattack is rising. Despite a growing body of legislation and
about 64% of the Indian respondents believe that the current
law in their country is inadequate against tackling cyber attackers
. India, Spain and Italy reported lowest security adoption
rates � all under 40%. Worldwide, only 20% think their sector is safe
from serious cyber attack over the next five years.

McAfee global threat intelligence data suggests that India
has recently replaced China (and Russia and Romania) as the richest
hunting ground for
hackers bent on recruiting infected computers for botnets,
another possible result of the disparity between the two countries’
security adoption rates.

Many of the world’s critical infrastructures were built for
reliability and availability, not for security. Traditionally, these
organisations have had little to no cyber protection, and have relied
on guards, gates and guns. Today however, computer networks are
interconnected with corporate IT networks and other infrastructure
networks, which are accessible from anywhere in the world.

�In today’s economic climate, it is imperative that
organizations prepare for the instability that cyber attacks on
critical infrastructure can cause,� said Dave DeWalt, president and
chief executive officer of McAfee. �From public transportation, to
energy to telecommunications, these are the systems we depend on every
day. An attack on any of these industries could cause widespread
economic disruptions, environmental disasters, loss of property and
even loss of life.

�The recently identified Operation Aurora was the largest and
most sophisticated cyber attack targeted at specific corporations, but
it could have just as easily targeted the world’s critical
infrastructure,� continued DeWalt. �The attack announced by Google and
identified by McAfee was the most sophisticated threat seen in years
making it a watershed moment in cyber security because of the targeted
and coordinated nature of the attack.�

The McAfee ‘In the Crossfire: Critical Infrastructure in the
Age of Cyberwar’ report is available for download at To learn more about the research findings and opinions,
please visit the McAfee Security Insights blog

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