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Geopolitical instability raises threat of ‘catastrophic’ cyberattack in two years

Cybersecurity is increasingly influencing how and where businesses invest and a vast majority believe that global geopolitical instability is likely to lead to a catastrophic cyberattack in the next two years.

According to a report released here on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum at its Annual Meeting 2023, half of the companies surveyed feel the current landscape is making them re-evaluate the countries in which their organisation does business.

Over 93 per cent of cybersecurity experts and 86 per cent of business leaders believe “a far-reaching, catastrophic cyber event is likely in the next two years” and there is a critical skills gap that is threatening societies and key infrastructure.

The Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 findings were based on surveys, workshops and interviews with over 300 experts and C-suite executives.

The report, prepared in collaboration with Accenture, said that awareness and preparation will help organisations balance the value of new technology against the cyber risk that comes with it.

The report highlighted the need to address the shortage of talent and skilled experts. Some 34 per cent of cybersecurity experts said they lacked some skills in their team, with 14 per cent saying they lacked critical skills.

The problem is more pronounced in key sectors such as energy utilities, where nearly 25 per cent of cybersecurity experts said they lacked the necessary critical skills to protect their organisations’ operations.

Expanding the cybersecurity talent pool is needed to solve this problem. Several successful cybersecurity skills programmes are under way around the world, but many have difficulty scaling to large numbers. Greater cross-industry collaboration and public-private partnership is needed to overcome this.

According to the report, the speed at which new technologies are implemented means that real and lasting cyber resilience comes from embedding cybersecurity into an organisation’s culture and decision-making processes. PTI

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