A new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows cyberattacks are the business risk of greatest concern in North America, Europe, and East Asia and Pacific (EAP) regions.
The WEF polled 12,000 private-sector decision makers from about 130 countries to compile its "Regional Risks for Doing Business" report, which illustrates regional impact of business risks. Taking all respondents into consideration, cyberattacks are fifth among the top 10 risks of concern. First is unemployment/underemployment, followed by failure of national governance, energy price shock, and fiscal crises.
European businesses are most troubled by cyberattacks, which topped the list of concerns in 12 of 37 countries. Researchers note the broad impact of WannaCry on the UK's health system and German rail system, pointing out that cyberattacks throughout Europe were up by one-third in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the previous year.
Cyberattacks are also the leading risk to doing business in EAP, topping the list for respondents from Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore. WEF calls Southeast Asia "the fastest-growing region in the world" in terms of Internet connectivity, with 3.8 million new users each month. Its online economy is set to reach $200 billion by 2025, making it a prime cybercriminal target.
In the United States and Canada, the growth of concern around cyberattacks mirrors the pattern in similar economically advanced regions. Researchers point out how greater reliance on e-commerce also poses a risk here. Data fraud or theft was another primary concern in North America, ranking third and seventh, respectively, on businesses' list of top worries.
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