New cyber risks "not a simple continuation of current challenges" – WEF

Researchers propose three-way action plan to address these exposures

New cyber risks "not a simple continuation of current challenges" – WEF


By Lyle Adriano

A new report created by University of Oxford researchers, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and sponsored by AXIS Capital, looks into the current cybersecurity challenges faced by business leaders and the international community.

The report identifies the systemic risks from next generation technologies – technologies that will increasingly form the bedrock of the global digital economy. Oxford researchers concluded in the report that emerging cybersecurity risks “will not be a simple continuation of current challenges,” and that incremental progress will not be enough to address these issues.

The university researchers recommended a three-way action plan to address future cyber risks:

  • First, the security and technology community needs to prioritise a number of interventions to improve the collective response that will be essential to cybersecurity operations and controlling cyber risk effectively within business and critical national infrastructures.
  • Second, industry and government leadership need to drive a set of policy actions that incentivise take-up of security solutions, and that underpin greater trust and transparency between different components of the ecosystem: to clarify issues of liability; to reduce friction in current assurance and regulatory models; and to promote international business and trade in data and digital services.
  • Finally, interventions are required from the international community to ensure that security issues are addressed in such a way that the benefits of emerging technology are inclusive, with particular regard to the needs of developing countries and the need for collective efforts to reduce cross-border cybercrime.

“The research points to the likelihood of systemic cyber-risks, and a potential cyber-resilience deficit if no action is taken,” said University of Oxford professor Sadie Creese. “It is important that organisations can confidently embrace new technologies and the benefits they bring, and that will involve a number of cybersecurity challenges to be met.”

“The dynamics of cybersecurity are changing,” said WEF cybersecurity lead Will Dixon.

Dixon added that, broadly speaking, the world has been tackling cybersecurity the same way for the last 15 years. But the same approach will not work every time, thanks to criminals exploiting emerging technologies and the global economy’s growing interconnectivity, the cybersecurity expert said.

“AXIS is proud to continue our longstanding support of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science by sponsoring forward-looking research in the cyber landscape,” said AXIS Insurance global head of cyber and technology Dan Trueman. “It is vital to understand emerging risks in cybersecurity and data privacy as we usher in a new generation of technology.”

Dan Trueman was named to the Global 100. Learn more about the winners for Insurance Industry Professionals in 2023 in IB's special report.

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