Cyber attacks worry Davos elites
Something strange is happening to Eugene Kaspersky.
The cyber-security guru, who has been at the forefront of his field for more than 25 years, can scarcely stride a few metres in the main conference hall of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos without being stopped by a chief executive or head of state.
Indeed, merely being in the Swiss mountains is eating into the fast-talking Russian’s much sought-after time.
In recent weeks, he has spent more time in “Boeings and Airbuses” than on the ground, being flown around the world to advise business leaders and government bodies – including the UK’s National Crime Agency – on battling ever more daring cyber criminals.
But it was not always thus. While the threat of corporate cyber attacks has been at the periphery of the WEF agenda for many years, 2015 is arguably the first year in which the issue is taking centre stage.
Mr Kaspersky’s profile, and that of the many cyber-security experts attending this annual conference, has been helped by the extraordinary events of the past year, in which attacks on Sony Pictures, eBay, Target and JP Morgan have dominated the headlines.
Business elites are taking heed. To coincide with Davos 2015, the World Economic Forum has issued a report that warns failing to improve cyber security could cost the global economy $3tn, and is urging companies to sign up to a new “framework” for assessing the risk of an attack.
In previous years, “every time we talked to a top 500 company about cyber-security, they’d say to us: ‘talk to my technology guy,'” says Carlos Moreira, a Davos regular and boss of Swiss cyber-security firm WISeKey.