Skip links

Global Risks Report

Global Risks Report


“As 2023 begins, the world faces a set of risks that seem both entirely new and eerily familiar. We have seen the return of “older risks”—inflation, the cost-of-living crisis, trade wars, capital flight from emerging markets, widespread social unrest, geopolitical clashes, and the specter of nuclear war—that few business leaders and policymakers have experienced. These risks have been exacerbated by relatively new developments in the global risk arena, including unsustainable debt levels, a new era of low growth, low levels of global investment and deglobalization, a decline in human development after decades of progress, the rapid and unrestricted use of dual-use technologies (civilian and military), and the increasing pressure from the impacts of climate change and the ambitions of a 1.5 degree Celsius world when the window closes. Taken together, they come together to shape a unique, uncertain and turbulent decade to follow.”

Thus, in a chilling way, the Global Risks Report 2023 begins the executive summary of a report that, although not surprising in terms of new risks, shows significant changes in the level of concern of those surveyed, leaving on the podium for the short term the risks that we hope will not return at this point: The cost of living crisis and geoeconomic confrontations.

And what about technology and cybersecurity? Why is it more of a concern than natural resource crises in the short term?
Here in Uruguay it hasn’t rained for two months and for any ordinary person, that is much more worrisome than a computer virus. Why not for the respondents?

“Along with an increase in cybercrime, attempts to disrupt critical technology resources and services will become more common, with anticipated attacks against agriculture and water, financial systems, public safety, transportation, and energy.”

The answer is clear: cybercrime is no longer a hooded hacker behind a desk trying to steal a credit card pin. They are organized criminal organizations with economic and political interests that have a very profitable business and can jeopardize a country, its hospitals, security systems, and everything that works today through technology.

And clearly this applies and is more of a concern at the enterprise level, where it is an even greater concern for respondents in that category in this report.

“Technology-driven innovation is vital to the success of organizations in today’s business landscape. As companies develop and deploy transformative technologies—from blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI) to genetic engineering and beyond—they must protect their own intellectual property and processes, as well as sensitive data collected from suppliers, employees, and customers.

In the longer term, widespread cybercrime and cybersecurity rank in the top ten risks. It is estimated that by 2025 the total cost of cybercrime will be around $10.5 trillion worldwide.”

So how do we prepare for this situation?
For cyber criminals, the ability to launch a cyber attack has become easier, due to tools like ransomware and more entry points and vulnerabilities. A resilience strategy that includes cybersecurity awareness, engagement, and cooperation can provide better protection against active threats.

Cybersecurity can no longer be a residual investment in organizations if they want to survive in an increasingly technological and vulnerable world. Advances in technology have made it possible to improve products and services exponentially, reducing costs, time and bringing endless improvements. Now what remains is to defend all that for which so much has been worked and invested, and that can become overnight the failure of any organization that is a victim of cybercrime and is not prepared to face an attack, at the cost of a total loss of image and prestige, even the impossibility of continuing to operate.