Virtual Threat

Business leaders do not fully understand their dependencies on the Internet, even as their reliance on the Internet for fundamental business applications increases. That’s the warning from Business Roundtable, an association of 160 chief executive officers of U.S. companies, in a new report on Internet security. The group cites estimates from the World Economic Forum (WEF) that there is a 10 to 20 percent probability of a breakdown of the critical information infrastructure (CII) in the next 10 years, at a cost of approximately $250 billion to the global economy. No small number, and more than costly than two-thirds of the 23 global risks examined in the WEF report. Potential threats include malicious code written by individuals, accidental disruptions caused by coding error, natural disasters that have major impacts on vital Internet hubs, and attacks by terrorists or other adversaries. The Business Roundtable urges CEOs to address the risks of a virtual attack by assessing company Internet dependencies and interdependencies based on their business operations, and addressing these in corporate continuity and recovery plans. As Ed Rust, chairman and CEO of State Farm and co-chairman of the Business Roundtable states in the press release announcing the report: “Similar to physical threats, the risks of attack through the Internet intended on impacting our businesses, economy and national security present new challenges and must be addressed.† What do you think?  

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