Cyberattacks top business executives’ worries in APAC

Attention to cyber risks growing not just in the region but worldwide, report reveals

Cyberattacks top business executives’ worries in APAC


By Gabriel Olano

Cyberattacks top the list of business executives’ concerns in Asia-Pacific, as part of a growing global trend, a report by the World Economic forum (WEF) revealed.

According to the 2018 ‘Regional Risks for Doing Business’ report by the WEF, in cooperation with Zurich Insurance Group, cyber is the number one risk in three regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. This is up from two regions in 2017 (Asia-Pacific and North America), and one in 2016 (North America). The trend indicates a growing concern about technological risks, the report said.

In Asia-Pacific, the second-highest risk was unemployment or underemployment, followed by asset bubbles, energy price shocks, and data fraud or theft.

Meanwhile, failure of national governance was the top risk in Latin America and South Asia, highlighting the costs of political tensions that have occurred around the world in recent years. In the energy-rich regions of Eurasia and Middle East and North Africa, energy price shocks were ranked as the top risk to doing business. Unemployment was perceived as the top risk for doing business in sub-Saharan Africa, representing mostly the absence of demand in the region, the report said.

“Cyberattacks are seen as the number one risk for doing business in markets that account for 50% of global GDP,” said Lori Bailey, global head of cyber risk, Zurich Insurance Group, and member of the WEF’s Global Future Council on Cybersecurity. “This strongly suggests that governments and businesses need to strengthen cyber security and resilience in order to maintain confidence in a highly connected digital economy.”

“While large cyberattacks are the number one concern of executives in advanced economies there is growing apprehension about the potential for national governance failures in emerging markets,” said John Drzik, president of global risk and digital at Marsh. “Across the globe, businesses are also concerned with rising geopolitical friction that has already resulted in rising tariffs and sanctions and which could further fuel the growing threat of expropriation or political violence.”

The report was based on 12,548 responses from executives in 140 markets globally. Respondents were asked to identify “the five global risks that you believe to be of most concern for doing business in your country within the next 10 years” from a list of 30 choices, including terrorist attacks, extreme weather events, and state collapse or crisis.

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