Cybersecurity Community Concerned About Misinformation

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Cybersecurity professionals want stricter measures to tackle the rising amount of online misinformation and fake domains, according to new research by the Neustar International Security Council (NISC).

A new report by NISC found that almost half (48%) of cybersecurity professionals regard these problems as a threat to their enterprise, while the other half (49%) rank the threat they pose as very significant.

To combat the threat, 91% of cybersecurity professionals called for stricter measures to be implemented on the internet if the issues are not resolved. 

Not content to wait for regulatory assistance, many professionals in the cybersecurity community are taking action against these threats themselves. Nearly half of organizations (46%) reported that they have plans in place to ensure greater emphasis on their ability to react to the rise of misinformation and fake domains. 

An additional 35% said that dealing with these threats will be a focus area for them in the next six months, while 13% would consider taking action if misinformation and fake domains continue to be an issue.

The research was based on a July 2020 survey of 306 professionals from across six EMEA and US markets in senior positions within their organizations who are able to give informed opinions on cybersecurity's most pressing issues.

“Misinformation is by no means new—from the beginning of time it has been used as a key tactic by people trying to achieve major goals with limited means,” said Rodney Joffe, chairman of NISC, senior vice president and fellow at Neustar. 

“The current global pandemic, however, has led to a sharp uptick in misinformation and the registration of fake domains, with cyber-criminals using tactics such as phishing, scams and ransomware to spread misleading news, falsified evidence and incorrect advice. While the motives of malicious actors may differ, the erosion of trust caused by misinformation poses a range of ethical, social and technological challenges to organizations.”

NISC researchers also highlighted a steep 12-point increase on the International Cyber Benchmarks Index year-on-year from July 2019 to July 2020. The Index, which is calculated based on the changing level of threat and impact of cyber-attacks, has maintained an upward trend since May 2017.

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