Should We Fear a Catastrophic Cyberattack?

Many experts say there is reason to be concerned

6 March 2015

Cybersecurity experts say a widespread cyberattack is likely to occur in the next 10 years, possibly causing the theft of tens of billions of dollars, harm to a nation’s security and capacity to defend itself, or a significant loss of life.

More than 60 percent of the 1,642 cybersecurity experts who responded to a Pew Research Center survey put banks and military organizations among the potential targets.

The other respondents—nearly 40 percent—believe that major damage from cyberattacks is unlikely. Some suggested that the threat of countermeasures might deter the worst potential offenders. Others said many in the cybersecurity field are exaggerating the menace because they profit from creating an atmosphere of fear.

What can be done to improve cybersecurity and lessen the threat? Or do you think such predictions are overblown?

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