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Internet Security Concerns Dominate Survey

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Internet Security Concerns Dominate Survey - Overview

Short on time? Here’s an overview:

Unisys remains committed to providing secure, innovative, business-driven solutions to government agencies both large and small. We want to help you provide the best services possible to your citizens, and help you address their concerns.

Reversing a multi-year trend, and driven by concerns about ransomware and remote working risks, concerns about internet security rose by 12 points, moving from last to first in our survey. Viruses, hacking, malware, phishing attacks and employee discomfort regarding monitoring of worker’s remote activity were notable examples of cybersecurity concerns.

The Unisys Security Index™, the longest-running snapshot of consumer security concerns conducted globally, was completed in the summer of 2021, as some workers started transitioning back from remote work to offices as the COVID-19 pandemic initially began to wane. While 2020 showed a sharp spike in concerns about personal security – health concerns being dominant – concerns about Internet breaches and ransomware increased dramatically in 2021. While this phenomenon applied to any industry in which workers could telecommute, the public sector was one of the only employers to largely remain open during the pandemic, and the first to re-open in the spring of 2021, as demand for public services remained unchanged.

The public sector view

As with commercial entities, the threat of state-sponsored cyberattacks looms large; ransomware attacks are not limited to corporations with deep pockets, but, sadly, are often targeted at underfunded, not-for-profit entities such as hospitals, schools or local government sites. Cyber criminals are not deterred by the knowledge that their targets might be helping the public good or that lives could be jeopardized if systems are shut down – they only care about the likelihood of being paid.

Likewise, hacktivists – who seek to disrupt rather than monetize via their attacks – are just as likely to target government systems and sites as their commercial counterparts. In addition, public sector sites offer thieves tantalizing payoffs for data exfiltration: massive amounts of private citizen data; law enforcement details; sensitive or classified information, and financial records such as tax information are just a few examples of targets. Using Advanced Persistent Threats (ATPs), thieves can mine servers for months before being detected and blocked.

Janine Moore

Janine Moore

Janine Moore provides vision and guidance on critical methods, practices and functionality for Digital Government in the Social Services space, as well as to Public Sector clients and Social Services agencies to modernize infrastructure, operations, and processes and to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in benefits programs.