IT professionals predict cyber attack on United States

The U.S. government is at risk of a major cyber attack within the next 12 months and is inadequately prepared to defend itself, according to a survey of IT professionals released this week by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Forty-nine percent of IT professionals surveyed said that a cyber attack is likely within the next year, and a third of those said it is extremely likely.

The survey of 395 IT professionals was conducted June 5-7 by Ipsos Public Affairs, based in Paris, and released by the BSA Tuesday.

According to the results, respondents fear that the U.S. government is insufficiently prepared for a cyberattack, especially given heightened focus on security and related issues. Seventy-two percent of those polled said that there is a gap between the threat of an attack and the government’s preparedness. What’s more, 96 percent of respondents said that the government needs to employ more technologies like encryption to secure their sensitive data.

The survey comes amid recent warnings about cyberattacks on the U.S., which have been heightened since the U.S. began its war on terrorism.

BSA spokeswoman Jeri Clausing said that the survey results indicate the government’s urgent need to better secure its Internet infrastructure. The group is calling for a public-private partnership much like that formed in order to deal with Y2K concerns.

“We want to say that the industry stands here to help,” Clausing said.