A new report issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), called “Global Risks Report 2018,” lists the threat of cyber-warfare and cyber-attacks affecting the public as the world’s third greatest threat in 2018, only behind natural disasters and extreme weather.

The report notes that because of an increased global reliance on connected devices and the internet, and the fact that cyber-attacks have doubled over the past five years, the risk will continue to rise in 2018. It cited the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017, which affected 300,000 computers throughout 150 countries, and NotPetya, which cause business losses in excess of $300 million.

More sobering is the report’s blunt prediction that cyber-attacks have been and will continue to target industrial control systems and critical infrastructure and that “In a worst-case scenario, attackers could trigger a breakdown in the systems that keep societies functioning” [view related post].

Complacency will not protect global businesses and systems and the WEF report is another wake up call to the growing risk cyber-attacks pose to companies and governments.