May 21, 2012
The Index of Cyber Security, composed by a pair of computer security professionals, shows that cyber security concerns are up 30 percent since March of 2011. With the emergence of many varied threats to web security, as well as a rise in already-common attacks like malware, the need for security measures and data protection is more importat than ever before.
The index - put together by measuring perceived level of risk among IT security professionals - began at a baseline of 1000 in March 2011. In April 2012, the number rose to a record high of 1292, continuing a steady rise of around 2 percent per month since the initial survey. April's 2.2 percent jump from the 1265.8 number the index stood at in March - one full year after the conception of the measure - marked a tie with November to December in 2011 for the second largest one-month jump in its history. A 2.5 percent jump from 1043.2 in May 2011 to 1069.5 June 2011 was the greatest increase.
Comfort in the cloud
This rising concern comes even as a Microsoft study finds the that the strength of data security in the cloud has quelled the concerns of many worried IT professionals. According to the study, 32 percent of the small and medium-sized businesses who responded felt that a switch to the cloud has made them less afraid of potential cyber attacks.
Cloud security is still a concern, even as many business owners switch over to the burgeoning technology - or on top of the list of reasons why they are hesitant to do so - possibly helping to account for the rising fear in the index.
Some of the security issues that may have caught the eye of the professionals surveyed for the index are likely of the more cloud-independent variety, taking the potential benefits of secure cloud computing out of the equation.
Attacks from malware
A study by a U.S.-based security firm found that one of the major proponents of the rising concern about cyber security has been a drastic increase in the number of malicious malware attacks. The study found that the number of attacks in 2011 rose 81 percent over the company's 2010 numbers.
The study also found that the number of flaws vulnerable to attack have decreased in the face of this rising tide of threats. Better security has seen a rise in not just total attacks, but targeted attacks that exploit a single weak spot.
-McAfee Cloud Security