World Economic Forum Acknowledges Weak Cybersecurity and Other Global Risks in 2019

The annual report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) declares cyber security threats atop their 2019 Global Risk Report, research finds. Businesses across the globe should listen to these warnings and get ready to protect their data. 

Global risks report lists cyber security concerns

The annual Global Risks Report (GRR) from the World Economic Forum ranks cyber security among the top threats society faces, alongside other uncertainties such as environmental risks and geopolitical tensions. The report created in partnership with Marsh & McLennan Companies and Zurich Insurance Group places technological vulnerabilities atop their research as more businesses and enterprises engage in commerce through means of the internet. This integration of society and technology will lead to more dependency on better cyber security protections that individuals and business of all sizes can utilize to keep their data safe.

The world at risk for cyber attack

The GRR outlines the potential of cyber attacks towards national critical infrastructure, and the lack of security resources employed to keep these utilities protected. WEF officials reference the nation-state based cyber attacks including an incident of hackers accessing US electric utility control rooms. New hardware weaknesses have been revealed through strings of data breaches throughout the past 12 months. Just recently, hackers were able to take control of two industrial-level cranes, maneuvering the machinery as they desired. The vulnerabilities within critical technological infrastructure is a national concern that needs to be addressed with a serious tone and strategy. This will require ongoing efforts from security professionals in both private and public sectors to combine resources and programs.

Data breaches caused by cyber attacks are high atop the global report list, ranking fourth in respondents’ expected risks to increase for 2019. Around the globe, personal information is at stake with negligent cyber security policies at many large enterprise organizations and government offices. The GRR quotes “the largest [data breach] was India, where the government ID database, Aadhaar, reportedly suffered multiple breaches that potentially compromised the records of all 1.1 billion registered citizens”. 2019 will be a paramount year for creating more definitive cyber security protocol for businesses and government agencies.

Internet of Things (IOT) security concerns

Research from the GRR also highlights concern over the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as it relates to data security and the Internet of Things (IoT). With more devices becoming connected to the internet, there should be a focus on connected devices security and integrity of information being transmitted. AI can be used to create a whole new frontier of digital threats that target and manipulate business data. Security of these devices needs to be prepared and implemented at the manufacturing process to ensure the integrity of data being transmitted. 

The annual WEF confirms the ongoing concerns data security professionals have been expressing over the past few years. Our national culture as it relates to cyber security and privacy must quickly change if there is to be innovation in the security industry which keeps our society safe and secure.

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