Cyber attack is top risk

Cyber attacks are the number one risk in Europe, East Asia and the Pacific, and North America.
Cyber attacks are the number one risk in Europe, East Asia and the Pacific and North America. This points to growing concerns about technological risks.
In contrast, in 2017, cyber attacks were the top risk in two regions (East Asia and the Pacific and North America).  In 2016, it was only in one region (North America).

Differences in risk perceptions

There are significant differences in risk perceptions across the eight regions covered in the World Economic Forum’s Regional Risks for Doing Business report.
Over 12,000 executives highlighted concerns ranging from economic to political, societal and technological.
Unemployment, failure of national governance and energy price shocks were among the top worries of executives across various regions.

Failure of national governance ranked number one in Latin America and South Asia.  It highlights the costs of political strains that have been evident in much of the world in recent years.
In the energy-rich regions of Eurasia and Middle East and North Africa, energy price shocks are the top risk.
The top risk in sub-Saharan Africa is unemployment.  It represents mostly the absence of demand in the region.
Mirek Dusek, deputy head of Geopolitical and Regional Agendas and member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum, said: “Given the current geopolitical uncertainty globally, cooperation within and among regions is of critical importance.
“Understanding the evolving risks in different regions is therefore top of mind for business leaders.”

Need to strengthen cyber security

Aengus Collins, head of Global Risks and the Geopolitical Agenda at the World Economic Forum said cyber attacks are increasing in prominence.
However, it is striking how many business leaders point to unemployment and national governance as the most pressing risks.
Lori Bailey is global head of Cyber Risk, Zurich Insurance Group.  And also member of the Forum’s Global Future Council on Cybersecurity.
“Cyber attacks are seen as the number one risk for doing business in markets that account for 50% of global GDP.”
Thus,  governments and businesses need to strengthen cyber security and resilience.  This is to maintain confidence in a highly connected digital economy.
John Drzik, president of Global Risk and Digital at Marsh, said large cyber attacks are the number one concern of executives in advanced economies.
However, there is growing apprehension about the potential for national governance failures in emerging markets.
Additionally, businesses are also concerned with rising geopolitical friction.
It has already resulted in rising tariffs and sanctions.
Therefore, this can further fuel the growing threat of expropriation or political violence.

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