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Digitization advances led to increasingly damaging cyber incidents: WEF Report

Digitization advances led to increasingly damaging cyber incidents: WEF Report

There was a significant increase in ransomware attacks in the first six months of 2021, and the global attack volume increased by 151 per cent.

The report also presented critical findings from 120 global cyber leaders on how to shift from cybersecurity to cyber resilience. The report also presented critical findings from 120 global cyber leaders on how to shift from cybersecurity to cyber resilience.

The World Economic Forum's 'Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022' report released during the virtual Davos Agenda summit this week revealed advances in digitalization have led to increasingly frequent, costly and damaging cyber incidents. 

There was a significant increase in ransomware attacks in the first six months of 2021, and the global attack volume increased by 151%. The report also revealed that there were on average 270 attacks per organization in 2021, a 31% increase over 2020. 

When it comes to personal cybersecurity, cyber leaders around the globe have listed ransomware, identity theft and critical infrastructure failure among their top personal cyber risk concerns. 

With over 100 different strains of ransomware in circulation globally - as warned by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - the attacks are unlikely to diminish in pace or severity any time soon. 

The report also presented critical findings from 120 global cyber leaders on how to shift from cybersecurity to cyber resilience. It stated that 81% of survey respondents contend that "staying ahead of attackers is a constant battle and the cost is unsustainable", compared with 69% in 2020. 

The report addressed the gaps in cyber resilience between security-focused executives (e.g. a chief information security officer) and business executives (e.g. a chief executive officer). For prioritizing cyber in business decisions, 92% of business executives surveyed agree that cyber resilience is integrated into enterprise risk management strategies and only 55% of security-focused executives surveyed agree with the statement.  

Given the rising incidents, cybersecurity continues to be an afterthought in many organizations. 84% of respondents said cyber resilience is considered a business priority in their organization with support and direction from leadership, but a smaller number - 68% - see cyber resilience as a big part of their overall risk management. 

Owing to this misalignment many security leaders still express that they are not consulted in business decisions, which can hamper identification and mitigation of security risks and result in less secure decisions. 

59% of all respondents, the report said, would find it challenging to respond to a cybersecurity incident owing to a shortage of skills within their team. 

While a majority of respondents ranked talent recruitment and retention as most challenging, business executives appear less acutely aware of the gaps than their security-focused counterparts, who perceive their ability to respond to an attack with adequate personnel as one of their main vulnerabilities. 

Also read: Cyber-attacks increased 50% Y-o-Y on corporate networks in 2021: Report

Also read: Cyber-crime getting more sophisticated: Rob Lefferts, security expert