Voters Believe Cyberattacks More Threatening to U.S. Than ISIS

Voters believe that both presidential candidates lack an adequate cyber security plan

BOSTON, MA – October 19, 2016 – New data released today from cybersecurity company, Cybereason, revealed that nearly 70 percent of registered U.S. voters believe cyber attacks are more threatening to the U.S. than ISIS. In fact, 64 percent are concerned about a major cyber attack against the US. With cyberattacks on the rise across the country, findings showed that in addition to ISIS, voters are also more concerned about cybersecurity than climate change and nuclear weapons.

In this national survey, which comes on the day of the final presidential debate, Cybereason looked at voters’ views on the top issues being discussed by both candidates on the campaign trail. The data revealed that no matter the outcome of the election, the next president of the U.S. will face a growing cybersecurity threat not faced by any president current or previous. And voters know it.

Demonstrating this growth in awareness among voters, 77 percent said they are more concerned about cybersecurity policy this election than they were during the last presidential election. Voters also ranked cyber-related threats as the fourth most important issue behind only the economy, healthcare, and education and well ahead of hot button issues like terrorism, immigration, supreme court appointments and gun policy.

A missing cyber security agenda

Given how concerned voters are about information security issues, one would expect nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be more attuned to all things involving cyber. Judging by our survey, the voters feel otherwise. Neither candidate has shared enough detail about their plans to protect against attacks, said 70 percent of the respondents. In addition, 51 percent of the people surveyed don’t think either candidate understands the complexity of cyber security.

“A day doesn’t go by without major cyberattacks against consumers and businesses of all sizes coming from groups inside and outside the United States. And at no other time in history has the clear and present danger been visible on the global scale leaving the next president needing to form a bond between public and private economies that will serve to better protect valued assets,” said Lior Div, co-founder and CEO, Cybereason.

“As education on cybersecurity improves, Americans are clearly becoming more concerned about the systemic nature of the possible threats to our networks. The reality is that next-generation cyber threats are arriving now and could significantly impact our critical infrastructure including our financial, energy, medical and transportation systems, making it critical for our elected leaders to prioritize cyber security more than at any previous time in our nation’s history,” said Ari Schwartz, a former Special Assistant to the President for National Security and Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy on the National Security Council at The White House.

Cybersecurity concerns for the election

With cybersecurity top-of-mind, Americans are starting to ask where these attacks are coming from and what effects they can have on the election. Many voters see foreign nations as the biggest threats for internet-based attacks. 70 percent believe the threat to sway the U.S. presidential election comes from foreign nations, with 60 percent believing it specifically comes from Russia. While cyberattacks have become more commonplace, 44 percent believe an attack could be used to sway the presidential election, yet only 15 percent believe it will happen.

Firsthand attacks increase awareness

The cyber sophistication of Americans may be going up because many themselves are cyber victims. More than ⅓ of voters said they have been the victim of at least a minor cyberattack such as password theft or identity theft. These smaller attacks are on the rise and 61 percent of voters believe that the government is better prepared to protect against major cyberattacks rather than the smaller everyday ones that affect more Americans. Although voters are concerned about well-known attacks like malware and password hacks, many voters are concerned about newer risks like ransomware taking over their computers.

About Cybereason:

Founded by members of the Israeli intelligence agency’s elite cybersecurity Unit 8200, the Cybereason platform mirrors the founders’ expertise in managing some of world’s most complex hacking operations. The Cybereason Detection and Response Platform leverages big data, behavioral analytics and machine learning to uncover, in real-time, complex cyberattacks designed to evade traditional defenses. It automates the investigation process, connects isolated malicious events and visually presents a full malicious operation. The platform is available as an on-premise solution or a cloud-based service. Cybereason is privately held and headquartered in Boston with offices in Tel Aviv and Tokyo.

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