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WEF report: cybersecurity we’ve been doing for the past 15 years is not going to work anymore


The next wave of cybersecurity risks will not be a continuation of current challenges, and incremental progress will not be enough to stop them, a recent study by the World Economic Forum, and the University of Oxford showed.

“Broadly speaking, we have been doing cybersecurity the same way for the past 15 years, and it’s not going to work anymore,” said Will Dixon, Cybersecurity Lead at the World Economic Forum.

According to him, cybercriminals can easily exploit emerging technologies and our growing interconnectivity at a scale not seen before.

“The good news is that there are ways to protect our personal data, mitigate the impact on global trade and security, and ensure our society isn’t hit with another shock,” he explained.

The 14-month study, conducted by the World Economic Forum and the University of Oxford, examines how shifts in technology will impact the cybersecurity industry. The study is based on the expertise of more than 100 leaders in the cybersecurity community spanning businesses, governments, academia, and civil society.

According to the study, the future of the cybersecurity industry and the security of everyone’s personal data will hinge on managing four technologies. Quantum computing, artificial intelligence, digital identity systems (such as e-passports), and the ubiquitous connectivity of devices and networks are transforming the foundations of cyberspace and have brought the industry to a watershed moment.

Managing the risks will require businesses and governments to address three things: filling capability gaps with new cybersecurity tools, creating policy interventions that incentivize collaboration and accountability, and galvanizing leadership action from businesses to plan more strategically around emerging risks, so the most critical infrastructures do not fail society, a press release by the WEF reads.

“There is a growing cyber capability gap,” Dixon said. “To tackle the threats of tomorrow, companies and countries need to expand their capacity. This means jobs, and a lot of them.”

There is a growing demand for roles in cybersecurity and encryption, according to the World Economic Forum. Cybersecurity specialists and information security professionals are roles in high demand as companies race to adopt encryption and security measures.

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