Concerns over desktop security are on the rise as international hackers increase attacks on telecommunications, oil and gas production, electrical grids, transportation networks and other critical infrastructure, according to a study released Thursday.

Fifty-four percent of IT security executives at companies handling critical infrastructure have suffered infiltrations or large-scale attacks from foreign states, terrorists or criminal gangs, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and desktop security firm McAfee. The average loss from outages associated with these attacks is $6.3 million per day.

"In today's economic climate, it is imperative that organizations prepare for the instability that cyber attacks on critical infrastructure can cause," said McAfee president and chief executive Dave DeWalt.

Researchers suggested that the attacks constitute an ongoing "cyber cold war." Sixty percent of survey respondents believed that foreign governments played in a role in attacks on critical infrastructure.

Tensions between Google and Chinese government officials increase this month following the company's announcement that China-based hackers had attacked its corporate infrastructure and broke into email accounts belonging to human rights advocates working in the country. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Chinese officials to increase the transparency of the country's internet policies following the Google's announcement.ADNFCR-2553-ID-19585428-ADNFCR