Cyberattacks among the top risks to society, report says

The new WEF’s Global Risks Report 2018 has been released, in which an interesting discovery was revealed: cyberattacks, IoT hacks, and ransomware are among the top risks to society, almost up there with extreme weather and natural disasters. These types of events are likely to cause a disruption in the next five years.

Among other things, the report also revealed that around two thirds of phishing emails distributed in 2017 contained some form of file-encrypting malware. During the last year, we’ve seen two large cybersecurity shakeups: the first one was WannaCry, responsible for more than 300,000 infections across the globe, and the second one was Petya, which caused a loss of $300m to a wide range of organisations.

As far as future cybersecurity risks go, the report warns of the inherently insecure nature of IoT devices, which a lot of hackers are taking advantage of to gain backdoor access to local networks. It’s estimated that there are going to be 20.4 billion active IoT devices by 2020, up from 8.4 recorded in 2017, making this issue even more prominent.

The report also warns that organisations are becoming increasingly more dependent on technology, which makes them more exposed to cyberattacks. Even though cybersecurity is improving on a global scale, John Drzik, president of global risk and digital at Marsh, believes that organisations need to become more resilient in this area.

For those who are interested in learning more, the full report is available on WEF’s official website.