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Future Cyber Attacks May Be Seen As The New ‘Normal’

In Sweden, for example, 82 percent of those aged 50 or older feared a cyberattack on infrastructure, compared with 53 percent of those aged 18 to 29.

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Cyberattacks
Stijn Vanveerdeghem, left, an engineer with Cisco, shows graphics with live wireless traffic to FedEx employee Barry Poole during the RSA Conference in San Francisco. VOA

Cyberattacks on elections, public infrastructure and national security are increasingly being seen as the new normal, according to a global survey on cybersecurity.

And in some of the world’s largest economies, people think their governments are not prepared.

The survey of more than 27,000 people across 26 countries conducted by the Pew Research Center found less than half of the respondents, 47 percent, believed their countries are ready to handle a major cyber incident.

A median of 74 percent thought it was likely national security information would be accessed. Sixty-nine percent said they expected public infrastructure to be damaged. And 61 percent expected cyberattacks targeting their country’s elections.

Israel and Russia ranked as among the most confident populations, with more than two-thirds of survey-takers in those countries saying their governments are prepared for a major cyber incident.

Cloudhopper, cyberattacks, internet
The picture shows a warning sign for “cyber threats ahead”.

The three sub-Saharan African countries in the survey — Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa — were generally optimistic, with more than half of those polled saying their nations were prepared for a cyber incident.

Brazil and Argentina were the least confident, with just nine percent of Argentineans responding their government was prepared.

In key economies such as Germany and Japan, more than half of the respondents expressed concern they were ill-prepared to deal with cyberattacks.

United States

The Pew survey found expectations for cyberattacks ran highest in the United States, where there have been more than 100 major cyber incidents since 2006.

Almost 80 percent of U.S. respondents expected damage to public infrastructure, breaches of national security information and elections tampering.

But while more Americans than not say the country is prepared for cyberattacks, 53 percent to 43 percent, feelings on cyber preparedness changed depending on political affiliation.

More than 60 percent of Republicans thought the United States is prepared for cyberattacks as opposed to 47 percent of Democrats.

Cyberattacks
An employee works near screens in the virus lab at the headquarters of Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Labs in Moscow, July 29, 2013. VOA

Politics, age

The Pew survey detected similar trends in many of the other countries in the survey.

In Russia, for example, about 75 percent of those who support President Vladimir Putin are optimistic about handling a cyberattack, compared to 61 percent of non-Putin supporters.

The level of concern about cyberattacks also varied according to age.

In many of the Western countries surveyed, Pew found older people were likely to be more concerned than younger people.

In Sweden, for example, 82 percent of those aged 50 or older feared a cyberattack on infrastructure, compared with 53 percent of those aged 18 to 29.

Also Read: Huawei Set to Invest $2 bn on Cybersecurity Over The Next Five Years

The Pew survey was conducted in-person or via telephone between May 14 and August 12, 2018.

The 26 countries surveyed are: United States, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Britain, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Israel, Tunisia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. (VOA)

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Humanitarian Issues to Figure Prominently At The World Economic Forum

The head of the U.N. Children’s Fund, Henrietta Fore will champion the needs of children and young people who are caught up in humanitarian crises

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World Economic Forum
People walk up stairs at the congress center where the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019, WEF, take place in Davos, Jan. 20, 2019. VOA

Heads of U.N. and international aid agencies will use the World Economic Forum’s influential platform to present humanitarian and human rights issues on behalf of millions of people caught in conflict, poverty and natural disasters. The Forum begins its annual weeklong meeting in the plush Swiss Alpine resort of Davos on Monday.

The World Economic Forum is best known for the many high-powered government and business leaders who make the annual pilgrimage to Davos to acquire lucrative deals and shape geopolitical events.

But the annual event also presents a robust humanitarian agenda. This year, the Forum, World Bank and International Committee of the Red Cross will launch a humanitarian Investing Initiative. The aim is to seek new solutions for protracted humanitarian crises by moving from short-term to long-term funding to support fragile communities.

United Nations aid agencies will feature prominently during the week-long meeting. The World Food Program’s executive director, David Beasley, will co-host events, such as ‘conflict and hunger’ and ‘the use of digital technology in the humanitarian sector.’

World Economic Forum
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum holds the meeting’s manifesto as he addresses a news conference ahead of the Davos annual meeting in Cologny near Geneva. VOA

Global Tensions

WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel says the group will be seeking support for its operations. He says many of the companies attending Davos understand that investments in food security are fundamental to business success.

“It saves lives and builds stronger markets around the world. In fact, it can increase GDPs by up to 16.5 percent and a person’s lifetime earnings by 46 percent,” he said.

With more than 3,000 of the world’s movers and shakers from 110 countries present, aid agencies see the Forum as a valuable opportunity to strengthen relationships with world leaders and keep their life-saving missions on the world’s agenda.

World Economic Forum
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 5, 2018. VOA

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet will be attending events on a wide range of topics. Her spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, says these include LGBTI or Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex standards in businesses, and human rights and democracy in a changing world.

“A couple of events on women’s rights as human rights and female leadership. The importance of women playing a role in global affairs by creating a new architecture that allows them to fully participate as leaders and shapers,” she said.

Also Read: The World Economic Forum To Discuss Globalization, Climate Change

The head of the U.N. Children’s Fund, Henrietta Fore will champion the needs of children and young people who are caught up in humanitarian crises or are being left behind because of extreme poverty and lack of development.

U.N. Development Program Administrator, Achim Steiner will seek to raise $100 million from Davos’ wealthy clientele to protect wild animals and their habitats. (VOA)