Friday, February 3, 2012

WEF Risk Report says Collective Response a Catalyst to combat cybercrime

The World Economic Forum WEF Global Risk 2012 report aptly pointed out the a key risk was the potential failure of information infrastructure resilience in a connected world. Cyber attacks were identified as a key threat agent, which for the moment the world seemed quite unprepared to face.

One of the thought provoking suggestions made in the report was the recommendation to build a collective response to improve infrastructure resilience by all the stakeholders. The report recommended a community response in terms of coordinated action, policy harmonization, neighborhood watch and mutual aid to help reduce the risk in the global supply chain. Such examples exist between firms, in disaster management and could be extended to the online world. According to the report, the objective was to arrive at a critical mass. It cited for immunizing a population, 100% immunization was not needed, but critical mass should be achieved, sufficient to isolate outbreaks and disrupt the spread of the disease.

The report stressed that the shared benefits of security protection were not understood, as firms have an incentive to invest in security systems to protect their own interest rather that the entire infrastructure. It gave online security as an example to illustrate this point. According to the report “Online security is an example of public good; cost is borne privately and benefits are shared. When a user uses antivirus software they do not take into account the benefit of protecting other users from Advanced Persistent Threats or spam if their computer is malware infected”

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