Cybersecurity failure ‘number one’ short-term risk to the UK

Cybersecurity failure was ranked the number one short-term risk to the UK by British respondents to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report.

The report collected the views of over 12,000 country-level leaders who identified critical short-term risks to their 124 countries.

Leaders from Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand also ranked cybersecurity failure as their number one risk, and respondents from high-income countries were particularly likely to rank cybersecurity failure as a critical short-term threat according to the WEF.

Denmark, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates ranked cybersecurity failure as a top-five concern.

Worldwide, the leaders surveyed ranked cybersecurity failure among the top-10 risks that have worsened the most since the start of the pandemic.

The non-governmental organisation listed cybersecurity failure alongside risks such as the erosion of social cohesion, economic livelihood crises, climate action failure, mental health deterioration, extreme weather, debt crises, and infectious diseases.

A continued shortage of cybersecurity professionals could ultimately hamper economic growth according to the organisation, although it said new initiatives to “democratise” cybersecurity, such as providing free cybersecurity risk management tools, could help fill some of the gaps for small businesses or other institutions.

The WEF said the expansion of remote work and the growing complexity of regulations for data and privacy is putting strain on IT and cybersecurity professionals, even though such regulations are critical to ensuring public trust in digital systems.

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