Venafi Survey: Majority of Security Pros Say Government Officials Should Complete Basic Cyber Security Training

SYDNEY – November 16, 2018Venafi®, the leading provider of machine identity protection, today announced the results of a survey of 515 IT security professionals’ views on the cyber security literacy of government officials. The survey was conducted August 4-9, 2018, at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas.

According to the survey, eighty-eight percent of respondents believe all government officials should be required to complete a basic cyber security training course. In addition, sixty-six percent 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 (sixty-five percent) believe government-mandated encryption backdoors weaken the security of election data.
  • Only a third (thirty-three percent) believe government officials understand the cyber risks targeting physical infrastructure.
  • Only thirty-seven percent believe government officials understand the cyber risks targeting digital infrastructure.
  • IT professionals may be skeptical 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.  

Additional Resources:

Blog: Venafi Research: Do Government Officials Need Cyber Security Training?

Results: Venafi Black Hat Survey – Cyber Literacy

About Venafi

Venafi is the cybersecurity market leader in machine identity protection, securing connections and communications between machines. Venafi protects machine identity types by orchestrating cryptographic keys and digital certificates for SSL/TLS, IoT, mobile and SSH. Venafi provides global visibility of machine identities and the risks associated with them for the extended enterprise—on premises, mobile, virtual, cloud and IoT—at machine speed and scale. Venafi puts this intelligence into action with automated remediation that reduces the security and availability risks connected with weak or compromised machine identities while safeguarding the flow of information to trusted machines and preventing communication with machines that are not trusted.

With over 30 patents, Venafi delivers innovative solutions for the world's most demanding, security-conscious Global 5000 organizations, including the top five U.S. health insurers; the top five U.S. airlines; four of the top five U.S., U.K., Australian and South African banks; and four of the top five U.S. retailers. For more information, visit:


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Topics: press release cybersecurity

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