Cybersecurity and environment issues are ‘major global risks’ for coming year

Cyber security has become more important as a global risk, according to the annual Global Risks Report produced by the World Economic Forum with Marsh&Mclennan and ZurI hope Insurance. It was a standout risk and likely to become still more important in the coming year, against a background where environment and climate risks were more threatening in their likelihood and impact, while economic risks indicated some ‘breathing space’ from strong economic growth but a long-term need to act on economic inequality.

At the report launch John Drzik, President, Global Risk and Digital, at Marsh, said the cyber ‘attack surface’ had grown because of the growth in interconnectedness, saying the scale and sophistication of attacks has grown. He said the economic impact was “at or above the scale of natural catastrophes but the response is not resourced, noting that most businesses have a resilience plan for natural disasters but only a third has a similar plan to respond to a cyber attack.

A suite of environment issues represented the most likely risks to be faced, with the biggest potential impact. They included extreme weather events, biodiversity loss and natural disasters. That category included the failure of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures – an issue seen as being of particular concern. Erosion of global policy co-ordination on that issue was seen as likely to be of some or significant risk by 58% of those interviewed for the report.

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