As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, an expanding threat landscape represents a primary global risk, according to a recent report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report 2022 hedges that global economic growth will progress slowly, and perhaps in a volatile fashion, across the next three years. The report intends to assist leaders in creating policies that effectively manage risks. Cyber risk remains chief among areas of emergent threats.
WEF Global Risks Report 2022
Experts who participated in the World Economic Forum’s study state that board-level cyber security conversations and proactive risk management represent prerequisites for increased cyber resilience.
In addition, business partners –suppliers, distributors, resellers- have critical roles to play in improving cyber security within business environments.
“While multi-stakeholder international dialogues can help strengthen links between actors operating in the digital security realm, cooperation between organizations could unlock best practices that can be replicated across industries and economies.”
“Initiatives should focus on emerging technologies, such as blockchain, quantum and artificial intelligence, as well as the modes of digital exchange they facilitate, like the metaverse.”
Other WEF risk report highlights
The report also highlights society’s dependence on digital systems, remote work, ransomware risk, the cyber security talent shortage, human error in cyber security, and supply chain attacks.
Amidst the report’s launch, risk management leader for continental Europe at Marsh, Carolina Kint, observed, “Cyber threats are now growing faster than our ability to manage them effectively.”
In trying to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, companies have come under pressure to digitize and automate. However, upgrades are often “built on the backbone” of aging technology. This has resulted in an alarming number of cyber security disruptions and undue threat exposure.
As society begins to rely on the next version of the internet, Web3, digital tools and digital defense mechanisms will need to evolve, according to the report.
WEF report: Cyber security expenditures
Cyber security breaches now cost companies more than ever, and in turn, this has increased costs associated with cyber insurance policies. For example, in the third quarter of 2021, cyber insurance policy prices for US-based enterprises rose by 96%.
Insurance experts note that critical infrastructure failures, an increasingly aggressive regulatory environment, unprecedented identity theft, and security gaps in the wake of digital transformations have contributed to the climate of intense cyber risks seen by companies.
“As society continues to migrate into the digital world, the threat of cyber crime looms large, routinely costing organizations tens –even hundreds- of millions of dollars.” And the costs span beyond the financial. Rather, they extend to critical infrastructure capacity, societal cohesion and mental well-being.
As cyber criminals adopt tougher tactics to harm vulnerable targets, cyber attacks are becoming more aggressive and widespread.
Cyber security failures and failure points loom large. The WEF 2022 report authors characterized cyber security as a “blind spot” for companies and governments.