World Economic Forum: Cybersecurity an Increasing Global Threat

Cybersecurity was once again identified as a major short and medium-term threat to the world in this year’s World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) The Global Risk Report. The analysis was based on insights from nearly 1000 global experts and leaders who responded to the WEF’s Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, environmental issues like climate action failure and extreme weather ranked highest on the risks facing the world over the short (0-2 years), medium (2-5 years) and long-term (5-10 years). In addition, a number of challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, such as livelihood crises, infectious diseases and mental health deterioration, also scored highly. Overall, this added up to a pessimistic assessment, with 84.2% of respondents stating they were either “worried” or “concerned” about the global outlook.

Digital challenges, such as “cybersecurity failures,” were also viewed as a significant and growing problem to the world. Nearly one in five (19.5%) respondents believe cybersecurity failures will be a critical threat to the world in just the next 0-2 years, and 14.6% said it would be in 2-5 years.

Interestingly, cybersecurity failures didn’t score as highly as a long-term risk. Reflecting on this, the report stated: “This suggests lower relevance to respondents – or a blind spot in perceptions given the potential damage of cyber-risks – compared to economic, societal and environmental concerns.”

Cybersecurity failures also ranked seventh (12.4%) in the risks that have worsened since the start of COVID-19, reflecting how increased reliance on digital technologies has created more opportunities for cyber-threat actors to strike.  

During a WEF press conference launching the report, Carolina Klint, risk management leader, Continental Europe, of Marsh, highlighted cybersecurity as a particularly grave business threat. She noted that the intensification of attacks over recent years means “that cyber-threats are now growing faster than our ability to prevent and manage them effectively.”Read more:

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