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Study reveals views on cybersecurity literacy of government officials

Study reveals views on cybersecurity literacy of government officials

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Venafi, a leading provider of machine identity protection, has announced the results of a survey of 515 IT security professionals’ views on the cybersecurity literacy of government officials. The survey was conducted earlier this year at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

According to the survey, 88% of respondents believe all government officials should be required to complete a basic cybersecurity training course. In addition, 66% believe governments should not be able to force technology companies to grant them access to encrypted user data.

“Over the last several months, we’ve seen government officials from across the globe propose dangerous surveillance laws and protocols,” says Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi. “For example, the Five Eyes international alliance has been consistently pushing for mandated encryption backdoors into private technology devices. They don’t seem to realise that the same encryption technology that creates barriers for law enforcement is also used to protect all types of classified intelligence and other highly sensitive government data. A backdoor sounds great until a malicious actor gets the key, which they always do.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) believe government-mandated encryption backdoors weaken the security of election data
  • Only a third (33%) believe government officials understand the cyber-risks targeting physical
  • Only 37% percent believe government officials understand the cyber-risks targeting digital

IT professionals may be sceptical about backdoors because government officials may misrepresent the scope of the problem. The FBI has claimed encryption is a ‘major public safety issue’ because law enforcement officials are frequently locked out of devices connected to criminal activities.

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