Cities' Economy Under Threat From Cyberattacks

The possible impact of cyberattacks on the world’s largest cities has risen by nearly nine per cent in the last year, according to the 2019 update of the Global Risk Index from the Centre for Risk Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School.  This has pushed the risk from seventh to sixth place among global threats in the index.


The research makes a unique analysis of the potential GDP impact of unpredictable shocks on the world’s most prominent cities.


The 2019 update to the Global Risk Index sees an increase in GDP@Risk across all the 279 world cities that make up the index and more significant increases in risk for some urban centres.


The Global Risk Index compiles the impacts of 22 types of threats into a single, annual measurement of economic loss, GDP@Risk. In addition to the continuing rise of the potential severity of cyberattacks, the 2019 index shows a sustained likelihood of commodity price volatility and of high levels of risk from geopolitical events and financial crises.


The estimated potential impact of cyber attacks has risen significantly since 2015 when the centre compiled its first Global Risk Index.


The capacity for cyberattacks to cause severe economic damage is on the rise from the increasing number and severity of incidents, such as the NotPetya and WannaCry events in 2017.


Cyber protection capabilities are slowly improving in response to the proliferation of cybercriminals. The centre has explored the current and evolving cyber risk landscape in the Cyber Risk Outlook 2018, published last year.

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