A majority of IT executives within critical infrastructure organizations (86%) see a need for public-private threat intelligence sharing partnerships in order to keep pace with escalating cyber security threats, according to a survey released by The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization, and Intel Security.

The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, included 625 IT decision makers with influence over their organization’s security solutions in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents were from private and public organizations, with a particular focus on the critical infrastructure sectors of energy, transportation, finance and government.

About three quarters of the respondents (76%) also indicated that they think a national defense force should respond when a cyber attack damages a critical infrastructure company within national borders.

Although most respondents agree that threats to their organizations are on the rise, they have a high degree of confidence in existing security.

Critical infrastructure providers in general are pleased with the results of their efforts to improve cyber security over the last three years, but many (72%) said the threat level of attacks was escalating. Almost half of all respondents (48%) think it’s likely that a cyber attack on critical infrastructure could happen within the next three years.

“This data raises new and vital questions about how public and private interests can best join forces to mitigate and defend against cyber attacks,” Clark Kent Ervin, director, Homeland Security Program, at Aspen Institute, said in a statement. “This issue must be addressed by policy makers and corporate leaders alike.”

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