Cybersecurity is the top risk to US businesses

Cyberattacks are now considered the greatest risk to doing business in North America, according to a report released today (January 14) by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The findings come among insights contained in the WEF's Global Risks Report 2016 report where failure to adapt to climate change and adaptation mass involuntary migration topped the list of concerns for businesses in every region, except for North America where cybersecurity is likely to have more of an impact.

Cyberattacks feature among the top five risks in 27 economies, indicating the extent to which businesses in many countries have been impacted already by this rising threat, but in North America the potential threat is a mounting concern, according to the report authors.

Technological crises have yet to impact economies or securities in a systemic way, but the risk still remains high, according to a growing number of business leaders consulted in the production of the report.

"Our separate survey of business leaders assessing risks for doing business finds cyberattacks to be the top risk in no fewer than eight countries, including the USA, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore," reads the report.

Cybersecurity is increasingly a concern for businesses the world over, with over 50 per cent of media companies across the world have been victim to some sort of cyber-attack according to a global study by Newscycle Solutions produced late last year.

Last year, The White House proposed a bill to protect consumers' data that would give consumers more control over how their online data is used, plus it unveiled a new cybersecurity agency called the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) that will act as a “dot connector” for new cyber threats and existing federal agencies.

WEF's annual survey is based on the findings of almost 750 experts which assessed 29 separate global risks for both impact and likelihood over a 10-year time horizon, with ' failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation', 'weapons of mass destruction', 'water crises', 'large-scale involuntary migration', and 'severe energy price shock', listed as the top concerns threats to the economy globally.

"An increased likelihood for all risks, from the environmental to society, the economy, geopolitics and technology, looks set to shape the global agenda in the coming year," reads the report, which can be downloaded here.