Results from the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Executive Opinion Survey indicate that for business executives in both Canada and the United States, “cyberattacks” are once again – by a large margin – the number one risk to doing business. This is a top risk in Europe and East Asia and the Pacific as well, where it now ranks first and second, respectively. The persistence of this risk at the top of mind for business leaders in these regions highlights the growing sophistication and proliferation of cyberattacks, and the corresponding exposure businesses are facing.
In the United States in 2019, ransomware attacks incapacitated municipalities across Texas and Florida as well as major cities, including Baltimore and Atlanta, exposing technological vulnerabilities in local governments. At the national level, politicians and high-level government officials have warned that the United States is still underprepared to confront major cyberattacks (1), and the government plans to launch a program to protect voter-registration databases ahead of the 2020 presidential election (2).
For the report’s insights on cyberattacks, click the link below.
- United States Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Nielsen Remarks on the State of Homeland Security: As Prepared for Delivery, 18 March 2019. https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/03/18/secretary-nielsen-remarks-state-homeland-security-prepared-delivery; Iain Thomson, US Still “Not Prepared” in Event of a Serious Cyber-Attack and Congress Can’t Help if it Happens, The Register, 12 August 2019. https://www.theregister. co.uk/2019/08/12/defcon_politicians_ hackers/ (links as of 21/9/19).
- Christopher Bing, Exclusive: U.S. Officials Fear Ransomware Attack Against 2020 Election, 26 August 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-electionexclusive/exclusive-us-officials-fear-ransomware-attack-against-2020-electionidUSKCN1VG222 (link as of 21/9/19).