A survey of 1,000 IT and security professionals worldwide has found that 52 per cent believe targeted malware attacks are their top server security concern this year.

According to the survey by Bit9, a quarter said that their servers were attacked in 2012, a rise of eight per cent on last year's survey. When asked how confident they were in their ability to identify and stop advanced threats, 59 per cent of respondents said that they were ‘somewhat confident', 20 per cent said that they were ‘not confident' and 18 per cent said that they were ‘very confident'.

Bit9 said that the good news from this survey is that there is greater awareness on the part of IT and security professionals about what they do and don't know about experiencing an advanced attack.

The not-so-good news is that the number of cyber attacks is rising and that confidence in the ability to identify and detect them before they can do damage is lower than ever.

Brian Hazzard, vice president of product management for Bit9, said: “These results highlight the need for greater control in identifying and stopping advanced attacks on valuable server resources—before they execute—while decreasing the security-related administrative workloads of IT and security professionals.”