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CybersecurityWorld Economic Forum launches new cybersecurity center “to prevent a digital dark age”

Published 26 January 2018

Without collaboration and robust defenses, cyberattacks could cripple economies, nation states, and societies. The World Economic Forum says that urgent action is needed to create safe operating environment for new technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, self-driving cars, and the Internet of Things. The Forum has launched a new Global Center for Cybersecurity, which will offer a platform for governments, companies, and international organizations to diminish the impact of malicious activities on the web.

The World Economic Forum announced on Thursday a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity to help build a safe and secure global cyberspace. The center will be based in Geneva, Switzerland, and will function as an autonomous organization under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.

WEF says that the aim of the center is to establish the first global platform for governments, businesses, experts and law enforcement agencies to collaborate on cybersecurity challenges. As a truly borderless problem, cyber-attacks are surpassing the capacities and institutions that are currently dealing with this threat in an isolated manner. Only through collaboration, information exchange and common standards can the global community successfully counter organized digital crime.

“If we want to prevent a digital dark age, we need to work harder to make sure the benefits and potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are secure and safe for society. The new Global Centre for Cybersecurity is designed as the first platform to tackle today’s cyber-risks in a truly global manner,” said Alois Zwinggi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum and Head of the Global Centre for Cybersecurity.

New technologies like artificial intelligence, the internet of things and robotics and their application in sensitive areas such as finance, healthcare, telecommunications and mobility make it all the more important to keep up with the increasing speed and sophistication of cyber-attacks.

“Interpol is a natural strategic partner for the World Economic Forum’s Global Cyber Centre. Both are unique because their global dimension underpins our collective response against the cyber threat. Our partnership contributes to building effective security architecture against such global threats, bringing key interdependent actors together, including police and business,” said Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol.

The cost of cybercrime to the global economy could go up to $500 billion annually, according to experts. In comparison, the annual GDP of Switzerland in 2017 is estimated at $659 billion. The World Economic Forum has recognized cybersecurity as one of the world’s most critical risks, ands says that in response, the new Global Center for Cybersecurity will draw on the Forum’s government and industry support to work toward a more secure cyberspace through its established multistakeholder approach.

“As one of the world’s largest dedicated security practices, BT is supporting the creation of a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity. We believe that closer, cross-border collaboration between the public and private sectors, in the form of sharing threat information and best practice, is critical if we are to succeed in combating cybercrime,” said Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, BT Group, United Kingdom.

The center will focus on the following aims:

· Consolidating existing cybersecurity initiatives of the World Economic Forum

· Establishing an independent library of cyber best practices

· Helping partners to enhance knowledge on cybersecurity

· Working towards an appropriate and agile regulatory framework on cybersecurity

· Serving as a laboratory and early-warning think tank for future cybersecurity scenarios