Gallup poll: Americans fear cyberterrorism more than nuclear war

Cybersecurity, News
According to a Gallup poll on world affairs, cyberterrorism is regarded by a majority of Americans as the most pressing danger to the United States.
A staggering 85% of respondents identified it as a “critical threat,” surpassing all other concerns, the Atlas VPN team found.
Results were based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,008 adults, ages 18+, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
Consensus on the severity of the cyberterrorism threat spanned across political affiliations, with both Democrats and Republicans rating it as a critical threat at a rate of 86%. Among Independents, 79% expressed similar concerns.
Gallup’s Mohamad Younis observed that since 2021, American citizens have consistently perceived cyberterrorism as the foremost critical threat to vital U.S. security interests. Prior to that, international terrorism and the development of nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea were the primary concerns. However, worry regarding these issues has declined over the past decade.
The Department of Defense also shares apprehensions about cyberterrorism. In a 2022 report, the department highlighted the significant threat posed not only by state actors like China and Russia but also by independent criminal organizations.
Mieke Eoyang, the deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, commented on the evolving landscape, stating that the capabilities once exclusive to state actors are now available for purchase on the dark web due to the emergence of non-state actors in the criminal cyber market.
In contrast to other policy matters, cybersecurity has emerged as one of the few areas where lawmakers from both parties are actively investing and prioritizing.
On March 21, 2023, a bipartisan duo of senators introduced two bills designed to bolster the US cyber workforce and enhance the federal government’s ability to combat cyber threats.
The primary objective of these programs is to ensure that the government possesses the necessary cyber expertise to effectively “defeat, deter, or respond to malicious cyber activity,” as stated in a press release.
Since 2022, lawmakers have introduced and successfully passed several other bipartisan bills addressing cybersecurity concerns, particularly those aimed at safeguarding critical infrastructure such as the healthcare and energy sectors.
Chris Price
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