A REPORT put out by the World Economic Forum rates cyber attacks as the fourth most likely risk to occur over the next 10 years.
The annual study details 50 risks across five categories based on a survey of 469 experts. It is the first time that a technological threat has made it into the top five since 2007 when a breakdown of critical information infrastructure was number one.
"With over five billion mobile phones coupled with internet connectivity and cloud-based applications, daily life is more vulnerable to cyber threats and digital disruptions," said the report.
The most likely risks are severe income disparity followed by chronic fiscal imbalances and rising greenhouse gas emissions. However, even though the risk of cyber attacks came in fourth it doesn't appear in the top five risks in terms of impact.
In the technology category a critical system failure was rated to have a bigger impact than cyber attacks but much less likely to materialise. We've already seen attacks this year, such as Anonymous hacking into Stratfor's servers.
The report said, "Companies are increasingly aware of cyber threats but are not necessarily sure how to address them."
It also said that vendors are likely to talk up cyber security threats while victims of hacking attacks tend not to talk about them.
Greg Day, security CTO at Symantec said, "It is promising to see that the World Economic Forum's Global Risks 2012 report recognises the growing reliance on technology and associated threat from cyber attacks."
"As a result, Symantec is working closely with governments, businesses and other representatives to reach consensus on the cyber security threat and action to combat it. It is vital that we all work together to protect ourselves."
However, Symantec is one of those big cyber security vendors, so of course it would say that. µ
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