Technology security experts in many sectors surveyed at a recent conference shared a common concern: 74.3% of them could not say with confidence that their systems have not already been breached by a foreign state-sponsored cyber attack or an advanced persistent threat. Further, 62.9% think it likely their companies will be targets of such attacks within the next six months.

Most (52%) were not confident their staffs could detect such intrusions, and 57.7% said they think the U.S. is losing the battle,although 30.3% said otherwise.

Yet slightly more than 57% said they thought their own security products and processes can keep up with new and emerging threats.

The responses are not surprising, says Hill International's senior vice president and CIO, Shawn Pressley. "Every day is a challenge, and it is getting worse," he says. But he adds that it doesn't matter whether it is a foreign state-sponsored attack or normal hacking— the defense is the same: change passwords, be alert to suspicious email, avoid unknown apps on mobile devices and examine systems for open ports and security flaws.

The survey was conducted by security software vendor Lieberman Software Corp. from July 27 to Aug. 1 at the annual Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas. Answers came from 200 respondents. The report can be downloaded from Lieberman Software's website.