By Maria Eriksen Jensen
– Cyber security and Weapons of Mass Destruction on the same risk level
I recently came across this really interesting report by The World Economic Forum – 'Global Risks 2011 Sixth Edition: An Initiative of the Risk Response Network' – which I thought I would share with you. It highlights some significant findings about cyber security.
Importantly, cyber security is ranked as one of the heavyweight five “Risks to Watch” that organisations should not ignore, along with demographic challenges, resource security, retrenchment from globalisation, and even weapons of mass destruction (WMD). “Some risks in the global risk landscape saw low levels of confidence or strongly varying expert views as to likelihood and impact. For these very reasons, such risks may surprise or overwhelm us, and they have been designated as 'risks to watch'.” (See pages 39-48).
Focusing on cyber security, the report states that “Awareness is growing that the real world is vulnerable to security threats from the virtual world, but the complexity of ‘cyber security' issues is still not well understood and its risks could be underestimated. Cyber security encompasses online data and information security and critical information infrastructure breakdown, and ranges from petty online theft by disenfranchised youths to government-led provocations with potentially catastrophic consequences.” (See page 40).
Consequences of data and security breaches can have devastating, potentially irreversible impacts upon organisations ranging from significant revenue losses, to extended downtime, loss of client and public confidence, and damage to brand image and market value, etc.
As the security ecosystem is evolving it is important that all of us – whether private or corporate users – also evolve and adapt against these accelerated threats. One initial step to take is to start prioritising timely updating of third-party programs.
To read the World Economic Forum report, click here.
Maria Eriksen Jensen
VP Business Development & Marketing