Hacktivism is not just resulting in high-profile breaches and data loss, it's also shedding light on the neglect many organisations are showing to security, according to a keynote panel at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.
Eric Strom, unit chief for the cyber division of the FBI, said: “Companies are taking it too lightly. They think these are just a bunch of kids fooling around. The reality is that it can destroy a business. The FBI has put a lot of resources toward this problem. We don't look at it as a small issue.
“The FBI has attempted to create collaborative efforts among enterprises that have been attacked so they may share threat intelligence.”
Grady Summer, a vice-president at incident response firm Mandiant, said: “Groups like Anonymous are helping the security cause by bringing it to the media and bringing those takedowns to light. Companies are now becoming aware and worried."
Sharing cyber intelligence and the notion of seeking information from working groups and other security organisations have been recurring topics of discussion at this year's conference.
In his opening keynote on Tuesday, RSA executive chairman Art Coviello said a "slow response to recognise the potency of the emerging threat landscape and our inability to band together" were allowing adversaries to be better co-ordinated, develop better intelligence and easily outflank traditional perimeter defences.
Journalist and author Misha Glenny said: “They're part of an issue that's out there and it's not going away. It's very difficult to get a handle on this."