Cyber risk is now firmly at the top of the international agenda as high-profile breaches raise fears that hack attacks and other security failures could endanger the global economy.
The Global Risks 2015 report, published in January by the World Economic Forum (WEF), included this rather stark warning: “90 percent of companies worldwide recognize they are insufficiently prepared to protect themselves against [cyber attacks].”
Cyber crime costs the global economy over US$400 billion per year, according to estimates by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 2013, some 3,000 companies in the United States had their systems compromised by criminals, the Center reports.
High-profile US retailers Target and Home Depot were among many organizations that lost customer data and credit card information. In other companies, cyber criminals stole money from accounts, carried out industrial espionage and in some cases even took over company systems and demanded ransom money to unlock them.
It’s not surprising that governments and businesses around the world are searching for better cyber defense strategies. The European Network and Information Security Agency held a cyber security exercise in October 2014, involving 29 countries and more than 200 organizations, including government bodies, telecoms companies, energy suppliers, financial institutions and Internet service providers.
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