Cyberattacks are among the most severe risks facing businesses today, according to the latest Global Risks Report, published by the World Economic Forum with support from Marsh & McLennan. This has been true for the last decade, and the financial impact of the global pandemic and the related acceleration in virtual working have only served to further increase the threat of cyberattack.
Cybersecurity will remain a critical and enduring focus for businesses for several reasons. The pace of technological development continues to rapidly advance. Artificial Intelligence is enhancing both the effectiveness and peril of traditional cyber threats, while other emerging technologies increasingly create unforeseen vulnerabilities in novel ways – deep fakes, voice-based digital assistants, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more. In addition, COVID-19 has forced many businesses into a remote mode of work, presenting an expanded threat surface for cyber-criminals to exploit. Finally, many firms operate in complex supply chains that expose them to third-parties, which may not have the resources to maintain the same level of focus on cyber risk management. This interdependency heightens the challenge of maintaining cyber resilience across the ecosystem.
Given these factors, business leaders recognize that cyber risk must be identified, quantified, and managed – but it also cannot be entirely eliminated. A cohesive cyber risk strategy that keeps pace with technological development and also considers the human elements necessary to promote good cyber hygiene – culture, awareness, and technology enablement and support – is required.
In the coming year and each subsequent year, the cyber landscape may become more complex. The MMC Cyber Handbook 2021 features the latest perspectives from business leaders across Marsh & McLennan and our strategic partners, who have deep knowledge of the cyber risk landscape, to help companies better manage their cyber risk. The handbook explores significant cyber trends, industry-specific implications, emerging regulatory challenges, and strategic considerations. I hope that you find these perspectives informative.
John Q. Doyle
President and Chief Executive Officer