The World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed that cybersecurity, changing energy prices and the ability for countries to provide proper governance were among the largest threats businesses faced this year.
According to new research from the organization, based on interviews with more than 12,000 business executives around the globe, the WEF said those were the top issues, although concerns varied from one country to the next. Cyberattacks were viewed as the No. 1 issue for executives residing in Europe and other advanced economies, while a lack of national governance was a major concern for executives in Latin America. Cyberattacks worried executives in three of the eight regions covered in the research. Back in 2016, cybersecurity was only a major concern for the North American region. Meanwhile, in Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa, the biggest risk to businesses were changes in energy prices.
“Cyberattacks are seen as the No. 1 risk for doing business in markets that account for 50 percent of global GDP. This strongly suggests that governments and businesses need to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience in order to maintain confidence in a highly connected digital economy,” said Lori Bailey, global head of cyber risk, Zurich Insurance Group, and member of the Forum’s Global Future Council on Cybersecurity in the press release.
According to the World Economic Forum, cyberattacks ranked No. 1 in Europe, East Asia and the Pacific and North America. The organization pointed to growing concerns about technological risks. Failure of national governance ranked No. 1 in Latin America and South Asia, highlighting the costs of political strains that have been evident in much of the world in recent years, the WEF detailed in its press release. Unemployment was perceived as the top risk for doing business in sub-Saharan Africa, representing mostly the absence of demand in the region.