One of the starkest and most troubling consequences of the digitalized existence is the increasingly frequent, costly and damaging occurrence of cyber incidents. This trend shows no sign of slowing, notably as sophisticated tools and methods become more widely available.
The International Telecommunication Union recently said that fixed broadband access has increased significantly on all continents as a direct result of teleworking, distance learning, remote entertainment and telemedicine. The WEF’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022 says that 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.
Emerging economies, on the other hand, prioritized increasing mobile internet access, training digital talent and generating investments in R&D, and digital enterprises. The WEF questioned how smaller and less powerful countries will protect themselves and their natural resources if they are not able to protect their digitally connected infrastructure. It highlighted the “cybersecurity poverty line” saying it will become more pressing in the ever-increasing surge of connectivity.
The report noted that digital transformation is the main driver in improving cyber resilience. The accelerating pace of digitalization due to the COVID pandemic and the shift of working habits is pushing cyber resilience forward.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary, US Deparment of Homeland Security, USA, says that throughout the last year, there have been stark reminders that malicious cyber activity threatens national and economic security. He said it impacts the daily lives of individuals, communities and organizations around the world.
David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive, Cyber Security agency (CSA) Singapore, highlighted that the rise of supply chain threats and escalating ransomware attacks are the most pressing cyber challenges the international community needs to address. “Business leaders must consider cyber security as a risk management issue and balance the trade-offs between security, usability and cost at the Board or C-suite level.”
Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank, Russian Federation, said the well-being of every person, organization and country depends on the application and security of digital technologies. “If introduced and developed in a secure manner, they can bring stability, prosperity and would significantly raise the quality of life,” he said. “However, if security is not prioritized, they can be the root cause of various kinds of problems. This is true of all progress, so our goal is not to shy away from it but to apply new technologies with security in mind and take the global community to fantastic new heights.”
The COVID-19 pandemic that brought along recent changes have created an unprecedented increase in cyber dependence and technological innovation.