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

How virtual desktop infrastructure enables digital transformation

Challenges and benefits of VDI

Free download

The Okta digital trust index

Exploring the human edge of trust

Free download

Optimising workload placement in your hybrid cloud

Deliver increased IT agility with the cloud

Free Download

Modernise endpoint protection and leave your legacy challenges behind

The risk of keeping your legacy endpoint security tools

Download now

Recommended

Russia's "politically motivated" REvil raid could be used as leverage, experts warn
ransomware

Russia's "politically motivated" REvil raid could be used as leverage, experts warn

17 Jan 2022
Meta files lawsuit to uncover hackers targeting Facebook, WhatsApp
phishing

Meta files lawsuit to uncover hackers targeting Facebook, WhatsApp

21 Dec 2021
Five things to consider before choosing an MFA solution
Security

Five things to consider before choosing an MFA solution

17 Dec 2021
Australia and US sign CLOUD Act data-sharing deal to support criminal investigations
cyber crime

Australia and US sign CLOUD Act data-sharing deal to support criminal investigations

16 Dec 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

6 Jan 2022
How to speed up Windows 11
Microsoft Windows

How to speed up Windows 11

7 Jan 2022
Synology DiskStation DS2422+ review: A cube of great capacity
network attached storage (NAS)

Synology DiskStation DS2422+ review: A cube of great capacity

10 Jan 2022