Poll: Majority of Americans seriously concerned about cyberattacks on critical groups

The vast majority of Americans are concerned about cyberattacks on critical groups, in particular those in the financial and national security sectors, a poll released Monday found.

Foreign concerns: The poll, conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs and the University of Chicago’s Pearson Institute, found that around three-quarters of those surveyed are especially concerned about cyberattacks from the Russian and Chinese governments, while just over half were concerned about attacks from cybercriminal groups.

There was a high level of concern around attacks on financial institutions, with over 90 percent of respondents very or somewhat concerned about threats to their data as a result of these attacks. Over 90 percent of respondents were also similarly concerned about attacks on national security and defense systems, healthcare groups, and the electricity sector.

Old vs. young: There was a significant split in concerns based on the age of respondents. Over 75 percent of respondents over the age of 60 were concerned about cyberattacks, while less than half of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 were similarly concerned. Older adults were also more concerned about attacks from the Russian or Chinese governments than younger adults, according to the survey.

The findings were released after a difficult year in cybersecurity for the nation, with multiple major cyberattacks impacting both government and private sector groups.