by Danny Palmer, ZDNet
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has listed large-scale cyberattacks and massive data breaches among the five most probable risks facing the world today.
WEF cited cyberattacks for their potential to hobble critical infrastructure, ranking them fifth most likely to occur this year, while data breaches ranked fourth. Moreover, 82% of individuals polled by WEF see an elevated risk of cyberattacks leading to the theft of money and data, and 80% said the risk of cyberattacks causing operational disruptions is higher.
WEF ranks the combination of cyberattacks and the breakdown of critical information infrastructure second in likelihood to occur only to extreme weather and failed climate change mitigation.
The vast majority of respondents expect cyberattacks to be a major problem during 2019; 82 percent of those surveyed believe there’s an increased risk of cyberattacks leading to the theft of money and data, and 80 percent believe there’s an increased risk of cyberattacks leading to the disruption of operations.
In particular, the report points towards the risk cyberattacks pose to critical infrastructure, noting how nation-state backed hackers were able to gain access to the control rooms of US utility companies in a series of incidents that came to light in July last year.
WEF said Internet of Things devices and connected objects embedded within industrial environments could potentially offer attackers an easy way to infiltrate infrastructure and orchestrate cyberattacks with “devastating spill-over effects,” damaging critical services and causing billions of dollars in destruction. Read the report.