Cybersecurity has become a major concern for experts ahead of the AI future, as participants at the annual meeting debated the ongoing race between cyber defenders and attackers. The question of who is winning in this battle has been a hotly debated topic at the annual meeting.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2024 has revealed some concerning findings, pointing to the significant cyber threat that organizations are currently facing. Over a third of organizations experienced a material cyber incident over the past year, with security teams being constantly bombarded by breach attempts, ransomware, and phishing attacks.
The Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 also highlighted the severity of cyber insecurity as a global risk over multiple time horizons. Threats such as malware, deepfakes, and misinformation pose risks that could affect supply chains, financial stability, and even democracy. With the upcoming elections in which nearly 4 billion people will participate, the urgency to safeguard the integrity of democratic processes has become a pressing concern.
One of the key insights from the annual meeting was the growing cyber inequity between cyber-resilient organizations and those that are not. This divide creates an economic imbalance between the largest and most developed economies and less developed nations, sectors, and communities, posing a systemic threat in the age of interdependence. Urgent action is needed to address this imbalance to prevent the risks from falling on the public sector’s balance sheet.
The cyber skills gap is another major issue that was emphasized at the meeting, with leaders being urged to invest in cyber skills across organizations and individuals. Ensuring that corporate boards and government oversight bodies are regularly updated by cyber experts, as well as training frontline staff in cyber security, has been identified as crucial steps in addressing this gap.
Looking ahead, the battle for better cyber security is expected to intensify as the number of people online surges by 2030. The attack surface for cyber security is expected to grow exponentially, adding to the urgency of developing adequate pace and scale to cope with the technological capabilities needed to defend against cyber attacks.
Addressing the three “Ts” of cyber security: trust, tempo, and talent, was also highlighted as a crucial goal for achieving global cyber security in the future. To this end, addressing the gap in cyber inequity, the speed of innovation, and the need for diverse skill sets in combating cyber threats will be essential.
The insights from the Davos 2024 meeting echo the findings of the Cybersecurity Futures 2030: New Foundations whitepaper, published by the Forum with the Centre for Long-Term Cybersecurity at U.C. Berkeley. The whitepaper emphasizes the need to preserve trust in our shared digital future by addressing the core concerns of cyber security in an era of rapid technological advancement.
The original article has been published by the World Economic Forum and was reprinted with permission.