Poll Finds Increased Concerns Over Infrastructure Security – Manufacturing.net

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In a new public opinion poll by MITRE and The Harris Poll, the U.S. public agrees, almost universally, that protecting our critical infrastructure is essential to our daily lives. With temporary failures of critical infrastructure on the rise in recent years, 81 percent of U.S. residents said they are worried about how secure critical infrastructure may be. 

The public considers cyberattacks to be of the greatest risk to critical infrastructure (78 percent), and 51 percent are not confident that we’re prepared to recover from an attack. “Threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure have heightened dramatically as the Chinese Communist Party and others have accelerated their capacity to conduct cyberattacks on our systems,” said Charles Clancy, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief technology officer, MITRE. “The MITRE-Harris Poll shows that the public is worried about these threats to the vital services we depend on every day.”

When it comes to who’s responsible for fixing and fortifying our critical infrastructure:

  • 78 percent believe the federal government bears full or partial responsibility for fortifying it.
  • 49 percent say it’s the responsibility of both public and private entities, particularly among older generations (55 percent for Gen X and 60 percent for Baby Boomers+) and suburban and rural residents (52 percent and 54 percent respectively).
  • 29 percent believe the federal government is solely responsible, with 35 percent of urban residents holding this opinion. 

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and other government agencies have been beating the drum to wake up critical infrastructure operators and Congress as to the potential threats on our energy, water, communications, and transportation systems,” added Yosry Barsoum, vice president, MITRE.

In addition, the MITRE-Harris Poll survey found that although most residents (64 percent) believe that the U.S. has one of the safest and most secure critical infrastructures in the world, 81 percent are still worried about its safety and security. Concern about critical infrastructure is consistently high across all regions of the U.S., but homeowners, urban residents, and people over the age of 27 (Millennials and older) are the most concerned. 

The U.S. public considers cyberattacks, terrorism, and aging/failing infrastructure to be the greatest risks to our critical infrastructure. While 51 percent of the public are concerned that our critical infrastructure may not recover from an attack, those numbers rise with older generations (59 percent for Gen X and 56 percent for Baby Boomers+) and rural residents (59 percent).

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