PC Matic Survey Finds Majority of Americans Lack Confidence in U.S. Federal Government’s Cybersecurity Preparedness

Report summarizes findings from survey of nearly 1,400 Americans from all 50 states; Finds majority of Americans lack confidence in the U.S. Federal Government and its ability to defend itself from a cyber-attack; Analyzes and ranks public opinion of state governments and their cybersecurity preparedness

Myrtle Beach, SC – Today, American cybersecurity firm, PC Matic, released the findings of a public opinion survey which sought to understand public opinion of cybersecurity as it relates to state and federal government preparedness and practices.

The report, entitled “Americans on Cybersecurity,” presents the results of a nationally distributed survey by which nearly 1,400 Americans, representing all 50 states, responded. The findings, which were gathered in March 2021, signal that a majority of Americans lack confidence in government institutions and their abilities to defend themselves from cyber-threats.

Key findings from the report are as follows:

  • 57% of Americans responded that they do not believe the United States Federal Government is prepared to defend itself from cyber threats
  • Nearly 61% of Americans believe the federal government should be doing more to protect American citizens from cyber threats
  • 46% of IT professionals lack confidence in the United States Government’s ability to defend itself against a cyber attack
  • Just over 40% of Americans would like to see the United States Congress pass cybersecurity-related legislation
  • Only a quarter of Americans believe Congress needs to allocate more funding to preventing cybersecurity attacks

“It is imperative that Americans have confidence in their government’s ability to defend itself against cyber threats,” said Rob Cheng, CEO and Founder of PC Matic. “Cybersecurity is the most imminent threat to our national security, and considering the findings of this survey, it’s important systems be reworked to provide better security and to instill more confidence from the public.”

More results and the full report may be found here.

More information on PC Matic may be found here.

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PC Matic Survey Finds One Year After Onset of COVID-19 Pandemic, Employer Work from Home Cybersecurity Practices Remain Inadequate

Report summarizes findings from a survey of nearly 6,000 Americans; Results, in comparison to 2020 findings, signals employers continue to rely on lax cybersecurity policies; Concludes those working from home remain at high-risk for falling victim to cybercrime

Myrtle Beach, SC – Today, American cybersecurity firm, PC Matic, announced the release of its second annual report analyzing trends between cybersecurity and employees who are working from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A follow up to research released by the firm in May 2020, the eleven-page report bears the name COVID-19: Cybersecurity in the Remote Workforce and presents the results of a nationally distributed survey by which nearly 6,000 individuals responded. The findings, gathered in March 2021, indicate that nearly one year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 35% of Americans are still working from home. This, all while ransomware attacks, many of which were successfully executed by targeting remote workers, saw a near 435% increase last year.

Key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Nearly half of employers continue to fall short on providing remote workers with technical assistance. In 2020, 47% of respondents indicated they were not receiving technical assistance from their employer. In 2021, this number ticked up slightly to 49% of remote workers responding that they were not receiving technical assistance from their employer.
  • Six of every ten remote workers are using a personal device for work purposes. Nearly 62% of remote workers in both 2020 and 2021 indicated that their employer didn’t issue a device (computer, tablet, etc.) for work purposes, and instead required they use their personal devices.
  • Less than ten percent of respondents were provided an antivirus software solution for the personal device they use for work purposes. In 2020, 7% of respondents who use their personal devices for work purposes responded that their employer provided them with an antivirus solution. In 2021, 9% responded in the same manner.

“Work from home is here to stay,” said Rob Cheng, CEO and Founder of PC Matic. “As threat-actors continue to target remote workers, and as the number of ransomware attacks continues to surge, it is imperative that employers take these threats seriously. The time is now to educate employees of the risks and to invest in proactive solutions designed to thwart these modern-day threats.”

More findings and the complete report may be found here.

More information on PC Matic may be found here

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These Are The States Most At Risk For Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks on are the rise. Data published earlier this month by Proofpoint found that ransomware demands have spiked by 320 percent over the last year. Payments are also on the rise as many victims find themselves in the unenviable and untenable position of being forced to pay simply to regain access to their essential systems. 

With more work going remote and more reliance on these systems than ever before, ransomware attacks are likely to continue to grow as a threat, but there is one factor that you may not have considered in terms of risk: geography. According to data published by PC Matic, some states are being hit by ransomware at an unexpectedly high rate.

Researchers at the antivirus software maker looked at hundreds of ransomware attacks that have hit corporations, small businesses, and government agencies over the last four years and determined which states have been hit hardest. They found that California was the worst hit, suffering a total of 44 significant ransomware attacks since 2016. Texas was the next hardest-hit, with 36 attacks within its border. Georgia, which famously saw two major municipalities get hit hard by ransomware — Atlanta in 2018 and Hall County in 2020 — saw the third-highest number of attacks with 24. Florida and New York rounded out the top five, both getting hit with 21 noteworthy attacks.

Many of these states, which are among the United States’ most populous and homes to significant corporate headquarters, make sense as primary targets of attackers. But on a per capita basis, other states have been harder hit. Montana, the second-worst hit by this metric, saw four major ransomware attacks over the last four years, all targeting school systems around the state. That is an outsized number of attacks given the state’s sparse population. Connecticut was the third-most affected on a per capita basis, suffering a total of 13 attacks in the last four years. The state most affected by ransomware on a per capita basis was Alaska, which suffered from four attacks total in the last four years.

There is a reason that attackers target states and municipalities that may seem small and less significant than hitting a multinational corporation or major metropolis: they are less likely to have the necessary technical support to protect themselves and will be more likely to pay if hit. Understaffed IT departments that are already stretched thin dealing with remote work or remote learning may simply choose to pay the price that attackers want to continue operation rather than try to restore from backups or wait out the attack. Big fish may mean a bigger return, but the small fish are easier to reel in.

Ransomware is likely to continue growing as a potential threat for businesses, governments, and even individuals as more people are using their own computers or phones to do work from home. It is something that IT departments and individuals alike will have to keep an eye out for and protect against, even if they are working and living in a place that feels like it is off the radar. Attackers know no borders, they just go where they think they can get money.

This article was authored by AJ Dellinger and originally published by Forbes. You may find the article in its entirety by clicking here.