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    Content Assessment: A New Trajectory of Digitalization and Interconnectedness? The World Economic Forum Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022

    Information - 96%
    Insight - 95%
    Relevance - 93%
    Objectivity - 92%
    Authority - 93%



    A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recently published flagship report from the World Economic Forum on the Global Cybersecurity Outlook.

    Editor’s Note: From time to time, ComplexDiscovery highlights publicly available or privately purchasable announcements, content updates, and research from cyber, data, and legal discovery providers, research organizations, and ComplexDiscovery community members. While ComplexDiscovery regularly highlights this information, it does not assume any responsibility for content assertions.

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    Background Note: The recently published World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook report highlights the most pressing trends and challenges facing the cybersecurity industry in the near future. With the sudden shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing frequency of high-profile cyberattacks, the importance of cybersecurity has become a top priority for organizations and nations. This report is essential reading for cybersecurity, information governance, and legal discovery professionals working in the eDiscovery ecosystem, as it provides valuable insights and analysis to help them stay ahead of emerging threats and protect their organizations from cyber risks.

    Industry Expert Report*

    Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022

    World Economic Forum

    Executive Summary

    At the time of writing, digital trends and their exponential proliferation due to the COVID-19 pandemic have thrust the global population onto a new trajectory of digitalization and interconnectedness. One of the starkest and most troubling new consequences of our digitalized existence is the increasingly frequent, costly and damaging occurrence of cyber incidents, sometimes even paralyzing critical services and infrastructure. This trend shows no signs of slowing, notably as sophisticated tools and methods become more widely available to threat actors at relatively low (or in some cases no) cost.

    Signs of increasing digitalization are everywhere. The International Telecommunication Union recently reported that fixed broadband access has increased significantly on all continents as a direct result of teleworking, distance learning, remote entertainment and telemedicine. Most technologically advanced countries prioritized the expansion of digital consumer tools, fostering digital entrepreneurial ventures and investing in innovation across universities, businesses and digital authorities whereas emerging economies prioritized increasing mobile internet access, training digital talent and generating investment in R&D and digital enterprises. This begs a question: How will smaller and less powerful countries protect themselves and their natural resources if they are not able to protect their digitally connected infrastructure? The cybersecurity poverty line question becomes even more pressing in the ever-increasing surge of connectivity.

    Considering these ongoing cyber challenges, the World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity engaged the Cybersecurity Leadership Community consisting of 120 cyber leaders who are senior-most executives from private and public sectors representing 20 countries. The focus of the Centre for Cybersecurity’s work was to gather data via a Cyber Outlook Survey and the Cyber Outlook Series and analyse it to understand cyber leaders’ perceptions, and the trajectory of cybersecurity and cyber resilience. The results of the analysis shed light on valuable insights about the state of cyber and perceptions about the current path of cyber resilience.

    Key Findings

    1. While many factors are driving cybersecurity policies forward, we identified through our survey that 81% of respondents believe that digital transformation is the main driver in improving cyber resilience. The accelerating pace of digitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of our working habits is pushing cyber resilience forward. As many as 87% of executives are planning to improve cyber resilience at their organization by strengthening resilience policies, processes and standards for how to engage and manage third parties.

    2. Our research revealed three main and critical perception gaps between security-focused executives (chief information security officers), and business executives (chief executive officers). The gaps are the most visible in three areas:

    2.1 Prioritizing cyber in business decisions; while 92% of business executives surveyed agree that cyber resilience is integrated into enterprise risk-management strategies, only 55% of security-focused leaders surveyed agree with the statement.

    2.2 Gaining leadership support for cybersecurity; 84% of respondents share that cyber resilience is considered a business priority in their organization with support and direction from leadership, but a significantly smaller proportion (68%) see cyber resilience as a major part of their overall risk management. Due to this misalignment, many security leaders still express that they are not consulted in business decisions which results in less secure decisions and security issues. This gap between leaders can leave firms vulnerable to attacks as a direct result of incongruous security priorities and policies.

    2.3 Recruiting and retaining cybersecurity talent; our survey found that 59% of all respondents would find it challenging to respond to a cybersecurity incident due to the shortage of skills within their team. While the majority of respondents ranked talent recruitment and retention as their most challenging aspect, business executives appear less acutely aware of the gaps than their security-focused executives, who perceive their ability to respond to an attack with adequate personnel as one of their main vulnerabilities.

    3. The threat of ransomware continues to grow. As many as 80% of cyber leaders stressed that ransomware is a dangerous and evolving threat to public safety. The survey confirmed that ransomware attacks are at the forefront of cyber leaders’ minds, with 50% of respondents indicating that ransomware is one of their greatest concerns when it comes to cyber threats. Ransomware attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication, and this ever-present threat is keeping cyber leaders up at night. Ransomware attacks are followed by social-engineering attacks as the secondhighest concern for cyber leaders; number three on this list is malicious insider activity. A malicious insider is defined as an organization’s current or former employees, contractors or trusted business partners who misuse their authorized access to critical assets in a manner that negatively affects the organization.

    4. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seen as a key threat to supply chains, partner networks and ecosystems. In our research, 88% of respondents indicate that they are concerned about cyber resilience of SMEs in their ecosystem.

    5. Cyber leaders have indicated that clear and productive regulations are needed, that would allow and encourage information sharing and collaboration. The value of partnerships is proven; over 90% of respondents report receiving actionable insights from external information-sharing groups and/or partners.

    This report uses a retrospective analysis of recent years to share the knowledge and concerns of cyber leaders with one goal: helping decision-makers prepare for the next generation of cyberattacks.


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