As if protecting against Trojan horses and other forms of cyber attack weren't enough to stress out IT security professionals, a recent report from Lancaster University in the U.K. revealed that physical attacks on internet infrastructure also carry serious implications for data security.
Researchers acknowledged that, especially with the rise of cloud computing, consumers and companies around the globe are becoming increasingly dependent on internet-based services. So a physical attack on the web's infrastructure could knock it down for a prolonged period of time, cutting off access to the data stored online.
"One aspect is we are becoming more and more dependent on Internet-based service provision [for example online banking] and if users are not careful with their data, they might have their data misused," Andreas Mauthe, from Lancaster's School of Computing and Communications, recently told industry news provider CSO.
According to the university's research, which consisted of a poll of network and security experts from the academic sector, as well as industry and government, just 9 percent of respondents rated physical attacks as a top concern for internet security. Instead, 33 percent said "breaches of trust within companies and misuse of personal information" is where they focused much of their attention.
Another 27 percent counted malicious network traffic attacks as a top internet security concern.
"It was surprising that experts have very little concern regarding physical attacks on the infrastructure, for example links taken out on purpose, or by natural disasters," Mauthe said.
Moving forward, it's obvious that the future of data security weapons must be focused on cyber space, according to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek report. As reliance on the internet has increased, so too has the attention paid by cybercriminals. Attacks are becoming more sophisticated all the time, and data protection technology will require further innovation in order to keep up, according to the report.