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World Economic Forum: Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022 — what you need to know

Tillman Hodgson

Here’s a mind-blowing thought; according to the World Bank, in 2022, global internet traffic is expected to jump 50% over the levels seen in 2020. That’s a whopping 4.8 zettabytes of data. To put that into perspective, if that amount of data were to be stored on DVDs, you’d need enough DVDs to circle the […]

Here’s a mind-blowing thought; according to the World Bank, in 2022, global internet traffic is expected to jump 50% over the levels seen in 2020. That’s a whopping 4.8 zettabytes of data. To put that into perspective, if that amount of data were to be stored on DVDs, you’d need enough DVDs to circle the planet six times!

That’s a lot of DVDs!

It won’t be a surprise to anyone reading this blog, but we’re living in a world of mass digitalization. And it’s growing day by day. Distance learning, e-commerce, remote working, instant messaging, telemedicine and online entertainment are just a few of the ways we engage digitally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has moved us down the mass digitalization freeway at greater speed, but we were already en route long before March 2020. But what are the implications?

Global Cybersecurity Outlook for 2022

Nobody has a crystal ball. But, at the start of the year, in collaboration with Accenture, the World Economic Forum put out its Global Cybersecurity Outlook for 2022. The report is substantial, coming in at over 30 pages. You can read the whole thing here.

Being the cybersecurity nerds that we are, we’ve been through the report, and there are a few key takeaways that we’d like to draw your attention to:

  • “…As many as 87% of executives are planning to improve cyber resilience at their organization by strengthening resilience policies, processes and standards for how to engage and manage third parties.”
  • “While 92% of business executives surveyed agree that cyber resilience is integrated into enterprise risk-management strategies, only 55% of security focused leaders surveyed agree with the statement.”
  • “84% of respondents share that cyber resilience is considered a business priority in their organization with support and direction from leadership, but a significantly smaller proportion (68%) see cyber resilience as a major part of their overall risk management. Due to this misalignment, many security leaders still express that they are not consulted in business decisions which results in less secure decisions and security issues. This gap between leaders can leave firms vulnerable to attacks as a direct result of incongruous security priorities and policies.”
  • “[The] survey found that 59% of all respondents would find it challenging to respond to a cybersecurity incident due to the shortage of skills within their team…”
  • “The threat of ransomware continues to grow. As many as 80% of cyber leaders stressed that ransomware is a dangerous and evolving threat to public safety. The survey confirmed that ransomware attacks are at the forefront of cyber leaders’ minds, with 50% of respondents indicating that ransomware is one of their greatest concerns when it comes to cyber threats…”

But what does it all mean?

As we move further into 2022 (and beyond), it seems clear that online risks and threats will continue to grow. As a result, organizations of all sizes and across all sectors need to focus on being cyber resilient. That is, anticipating a cyber breach will occur and ensuring that they can still deliver on promises and commitments to clients and consumers despite a negative cyber event. This could be crucial to the success or failure of a business.

In addition, it seems clear there’s a gap between executives and cybersecurity leaders. Again, this is a vulnerability for organizations. Executives need to elevate cybersecurity and resilience in their thinking, while cybersecurity leaders need to better communicate how cyber issues can impact business operations. SeekingFire focuses on helping security programs get this part right because we recognize how important it is to align risk tolerance, security controls, and business needs.

Ok, but what does it all mean for me?

It’s easy to feel disconnected from organizations like the World Bank or the World Economic Forum, especially if you’re a small to medium-sized business owner in Western Canada, but we’re all connected, and those connections are only growing. This is relevant to all of us. Here and now.

Consider this quote included in the report:

“The rise of supply chain threats and escalating ransomware attacks are the most pressing cyber challenges the international community needs to address. Business leaders must consider cybersecurity as a risk management issue and balance the trade-offs between security, usability and cost at the Board or C-suite level.” 

David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive, Cyber Security Agency (CSA), Singapore

The supply chain is something we’ve all become more aware of in recent months. It’s impacted all of us in one way or another. Cybersecurity and cyber resilience are increasingly crucial to all organizations, from mom and pop shops to large multinationals (and everyone in between). Thinking “it won’t happen to me” will not change the fact that it could.

Our advice? Be proactive. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. 

At SeekingFire Consulting Inc., we offer a wide range of cybersecurity and cyber resilience support and services. From security assessments to audits to vulnerability scans (ethical hacking) and Security Incident Response Plans, we can help you ensure your organization is on a solid footing.

We’re based in Kelowna, BC, but we’re proud to serve clients across Western Canada. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients. If you would like to discuss your business’s cybersecurity needs, please reach out; we would love to hear from you. 

Disclaimer

While we have made every effort to present accurate, unbiased and helpful information in this article, please note that it reflects the author’s opinion and is written for the purposes of general knowledge, information and discussion. This article is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be considered as advice specific to your individual data security situation. If you would like to discuss your cybersecurity needs in specific detail, please get in touch with us.

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