IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Most IT executives fear nation-state hacking tools will be used on them

IT professionals also feel they could be collateral damage in a cyber war

Nearly three-quarters of IT professionals (72%) are worried that tools and techniques nation-state hackers use could filter through to the dark net and be used to attack their businesses.

The worldwide survey of IT decision makers (ITDMs), carried out by HP Wolf Security, found that over half (58%) of IT professionals believe their businesses could become a target of a nation-state attack. 

A further 70% believed they could end up being “collateral damage” in a cyber war. When discussing specific anxieties relating to a nation-state cyber attack, sabotage of IT systems or data was the main concern shared by 49% of respondents. 

Other issues survey respondents brought up included disruption to business operations (43%), theft of customer data (43%), impact on revenues (42%), and theft of sensitive company documents (42%).

The firm said that such concerns are well-founded. In recent months, evidence has emerged that ransomware gangs have already adopted techniques deployed in the SolarWinds supply chain attack. A trend, it said, was likely to continue. 

“Tools developed by nation states have made their way onto the black market many times. An infamous example being the Eternal Blue exploit, which was used by the WannaCry hackers,” comments Ian Pratt, global head of security, personal systems, HP Inc. 

Related Resource

Preparing for AI-enabled cyber attacks

MIT technology review insights

AI icon against a laptop icon on a yellow background - whitepaper from DarktraceDownload now

“Now, the return on investment is strong enough to enable cybercriminal gangs to increase their level of sophistication so that they can start mimicking some of the techniques deployed by nation states too. The recent software supply chain attack launched against Kaseya customers by a ransomware gang is a good example of this. This is the first time I can recall a ransomware gang using a software supply chain attack in this way.”

Pratt added that now a blueprint has been created for monetizing such attacks, they are likely to become more widespread.

“Previously, an independent software vendor (ISV) with a modest-sized customer base that didn't supply government or large Enterprise may have been unlikely to become targeted as a stepping-stone in a supply chain attack. Now, ISVs of all types are very much in scope for attacks that will result in compromised software and services being used to attack their customers,” Pratt added.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Twilio account breach result of sophisticated social engineering campaign
Security

Twilio account breach result of sophisticated social engineering campaign

9 Aug 2022
Over 200,000 DrayTek routers vulnerable to total device takeover
Security

Over 200,000 DrayTek routers vulnerable to total device takeover

3 Aug 2022
Data on 69 million Neopets users stolen and listed for sale on hacker forum
Security

Data on 69 million Neopets users stolen and listed for sale on hacker forum

21 Jul 2022
What is zero trust?
network security

What is zero trust?

14 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022