Cyber security global threat

A BREAKDOWN in cyber security is now one of the five major risks facing the global economy, according to World Econmic Forum founder Klaus Schwab.

A WEF report released as a preview to discussions planned at the conference this week highlighted cyber attacks and the possibility of “all-out cyber warfare” as a major threat. “We are now living in a completely digitalised world and a completely globalised world,” said Schwab, pointing to the impact of Wikileaks revelations as an example of the potential disruption.

In line with the focus on the world economy’s vulnerability to technology breakdowns, this year’s conference features a tech-heavy agenda. Senior figures from Google, Infosys Technologies, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Spotify are among the many guests and Google’s invite-only “nightcap” or drinks party on Friday is being touted as this year’s hottest ticket.

In an attempt to provide a counterpart to the many doom and gloom forecasts this year, the conference is also hosting a “tech pioneers” programme that aims to bring together technology entrepreneurs from around the globe.

The programme gives awards to 31 technology start-ups and invites them to the forum to give their leaders a chance to network and exchange ideas. William Brindley, chief executive of tech social enterprise NetHope, will also tell Davos delegates that tech is key to the aspiration of “shared norms” at the heart of the forum’s agenda.

“The pace of change and technological innovation is great, but it should be thought of as part of the solution, not just a problem,” he says.