In May 2017, computer users around the world were greeted with a worrying red screen and a message demanding the payment of up to $600 in bitcoins to unlock their computers. This was “WannaCry”, one of the biggest ransomware attacks in history. It is estimated to have caused around $4 billion in damages, hitting around 200,000 targets, including the U.K.’s National Health Service and Spanish telecoms provider Telefonica.
In Aon’s 2017 Global Risk Management Survey, cyber risk was rated a top five global risk. In 2016, it cost the global economy an estimated $450 billion and resulted in around two billion stolen records – including over 100 million U.S. patient records. By 2019, losses could hit $2 trillion – more than two percent of the world’s economy.
Companies, and their leaders, are aware of this. But while it’s one thing to admit there’s a threat – it’s another to actually address it. And as our lives become increasingly digitized, the onus will be on us to understand exactly what types of cyber threats are out there.
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