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I was just reading the March edition of the Index of Cyber Security, which is a measure of perceived risk from participating security practitioners. A higher index value indicates a perception of increasing risk, while a lower index value indicates the opposite.

The big question this report asks is, “Do I feel safer – from a cyber security perspective – than I did last month?”

In aggregate, The Index of Cyber Security rose by 2.4% over the previous month, slower than the 3% rise shown in the previous month. The increase  is largely due to a significant worsening of the public perception of the state of cyber security, and reported increases in phishing and social engineering attacks, and attacks by nation states.

March2013 CyberSecurityIndex
Source: Index of Cyber Security

Looking at the graphs above, we see that the index has risen pretty steadily over the last year, but always between (roughly) 2 and 3% month over  month, and we rarely see big increases two months in a row.  That is good (IMHO), since it means there’s no widespread panic – no “runs on the bank,” so to speak.

Things That Make You Go “Hmmm…”

All that composite information is well and good.  But, what I found really interesting were a couple of details within the report.  Check this out:

Source: Index of Cyber Security

Fascinating: Not only is “Overall: Media & public perception” the number one concern it is also the fastest growing concern among those surveyed.

I wonder why this is the biggest risk?  Is it because it is so hard to control or understand?  Is it because it most threatens our career and business success?  Is it because the media often gets it wrong or focuses on form over substance?  Or, maybe there is another force at play here.

What do you think?