Worry more about insiders than cyberterrorism

Wednesday, 4 June 2003, 11:08 AM EST

Enterprises worried about cybersecurity should pay more attention to their own employees than to the as-of-yet unrealized threat of cyberterrorism, two cybersecurity experts warned a group of IT professionals Tuesday.

Speaking at the Gartner IT Security Summit 2003, representatives of Gartner Inc. and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) suggested that enterprises should worry more about their intellectual property leaking out through employees or small-time hackers than their entire networks crashing from attacks of organized cyberterrorists.

The threat of cyberterrorism to enterprises may be overstated, but the threat of less organized attacks may be understated in current discussions about cybersecurity, said CSIS director James Lewis.

While a host of security experts have called on the U.S. and its allies to be vigilant against cyberterrorism, think tank director Lewis said he's seen no evidence of large cyberterrorist attacks yet.

The U.S. has counted more than 1,800 physical terrorism attacks since 1995, Lewis noted, but no major cyberterrorism in that time frame. "Kinetic weapons are much more effective right now," Lewis added.

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