Cybersecurity: A global threat that we can control

If there were any question about the critically important role that information and cyber security practitioners play in the welfare of today’s society, there is new evidence spelling it out in stark, attention-grabbing terms. 

Data fraud/theft and large-scale cyberattacks were each identified among the top five global threats in the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. The other elements on the list: extreme weather events, failure of climate change mitigation and major natural events, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

Think about that for a moment: protecting data and thwarting cyberattacks now have ascended alongside dealing with natural catastrophes as the most pressing threats demanding the world’s full attention.[ Keep up with 8 hot cyber security trends (and 4 going cold). Give your career a boost with top security certifications: Who they’re for, what they cost, and which you need. | Sign up for CSO newsletters. ]

In some ways, the cybersecurity dangers we face are similar to the other, naturally occurring disasters that occupy the top spots on the global threats risk. Just like a city or village can appear perfectly tranquil one day, only to be torn asunder the next by a raging storm or fierce earthquake, too many organizations today are lulled into a false sense of security, preoccupied by business as usual, and then are blindsided by a major cyber incident that causes business upheaval from which they may never fully recover. But unlike most of the natural disasters that cause so much damage, humans are capable of preventing much of the suffering that results from attacks on our digital world. That is a challenge the security community must commit to addressing on a global scale. more

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