Global risks 2019: Climate and cyber risks at the heart of concerns

Global risks 2019
Image source: PIRO4D via Pixabay

Upstream to the Annual Meeting in Davos that took place on January 22 to 25 in Switzerland, the World Economic Forum presented its Global Risks Report, a report which highlights the main global risks and issues, based on a survey of 1000 international decision-makers from the public sector, private sector, academia and civil society. So what are the main risks that the World is facing?

Cyber risks in the top 5

For the third year in a row, environment-related risks are at the top of the decision-makers’ concerns. They hold the top three of the risks likely to occur in 2019, followed by technology risks which are Data fraud or theft in 4th place, and cyberattacks in 5th.

Thus in 2019, 82% of the interviewed experts expect data and money theft, and 80% expect services and infrastructures disruptions resulting from cyberattacks.

The 5 risks most likely to occur according to experts

  1. Extreme weather events
  2. Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation
  3. Natural disasters
  4. Data fraud or theft
  5. Cyberattacks

The top 10 risks in terms of impact

  1. Weapons of mass destruction
  2. Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation
  3. Extreme weather events
  4. Water crisis
  5. Natural disasters
  6. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse
  7. Cyberattacks
  8. Critical information infrastructure breakdown
  9. Man-made environmental disasters
  10. Spread of infectious diseases

Cyberattacks take the 7th place, and the critical information infrastructure breakdown the 8th place of the ranking, hence making it into the top 10.

Regarding technology, Børge Brende, the World Economic Forum’s President highlights that “Technology continues to play a profound role in shaping the global risks landscape. Concerns about data fraud and cyber-attacks were prominent again in the GRPS, which also highlighted a number of other technological vulnerabilities: around two-thirds of respondents expect the risks associated with fake news and identity theft to increase in 2019”. These concerns result from 2018 being traumatized by the increase of massive cyberattacks, breaches in IT security systems of States, massive data theft and the increase of artificial intelligence’s use for carrying out cyberattacks always more powerful.

Aurélie Tran

Author: Aurélie Tran

Chef de projet marketing - Nameshield group