The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international non-governmental and lobbying organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab and has consistently grown in scope and stature to the point that the annual meeting in Davos is likened to the “Super Bowl” for the leaders/most notable members of almost any industry/sector: government, finance, manufacturing, technology, etc. While the WEF is not “the authority” on cybersecurity, at its most recent meeting the topic was being discussed. Read on to find out what was said.
Given the current level of global instability, experts warned that a catastrophic cyberattack was possible within the next 2 years. The majority (86%) of business leaders agreed, per a recent worldwide survey of business leaders and cybersecurity professionals. They say this could cause never-before-seen economic damage as global corporations have become so dependent on technology. Around half of the respondents from the same survey said they may not even do business in a region or with a potential business partner if there is a risk when it comes to cybersecurity.
The elephant in the room related to cybersecurity was whether or not an attack would be directly/indirectly related to the war in Ukraine. International relations experts further point out that relations between the United States and Russia/China have deteriorated to low point not seen for a long time. The United States has many “bones to pick” with China regarding stolen intellectual property, reneging on various macro trade policies/agreements, and origins of the COVID-19 virus. Russia and China are long-time allies that grow more tired by the year of being considered less powerful economically and militarily compared to the United States.
Cybercriminals are also investing like never before in new and more sophisticated tools to compromise computer networks and overwhelm security measures. Cybersecurity professionals point to the frequent mention of hacks and cyberattacks in the news and media, contrasting it to years not too long ago when it seemed like such occurrences were fewer. There is the caveat of course that an increase in such news stories is likely somewhat related to disclosure laws that only became active in recent years whereby companies or governments that experienced such hacks had duties to notify the public or their stakeholders.
With a global recession possibly on the frontier there is a question of if governments and businesses will be able to keep pace with “the bad guys” due to financial turbulence or constraints.