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Cyber risks: An unavoidable challenge in 2024

In 2024, cyber risks are once again in the spotlight - in the top 5 global risks in the World Economic Forum report and the number one business risk in the Allianz Risk Barometer. Find out how these risks affect businesses, governments and individuals and what trends will drive cyber activity in 2024.


The importance of cyber security continues to grow in 2024, and cyber risks are once again in the spotlight. Not only have they become more prevalent, but they also have a profound impact on businesses, governments and individuals. In light of the findings from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risk Report 2024 and the Allianz Risk Report 2024, organizations should ensure that their strategies effectively address the growing digital threats, including cyber risks.

Insights from the 2024 World Economic Forum Global Risk Report

According to the 2024 World Economic Forum Global Risk Report, cyber risks are one of the biggest global threats. Cyber attacks rank fifth globally in terms of risks, with particular emphasis on the government and private sectors. These results show how frequent and damaging cyber attacks can be. They affect both the economy and society. This growing threat requires a collective, global response and stronger preventative measures from businesses and governments.

Cyber risks are ranked 5th in the 2024 World Economic Forum Global Risk Report.

Cyber risks at the top of the Allianz Risk Report 2024

The Allianz Risk Barometer 2024 underlines the growing relevance of cyber risks. For the first time, cyber risks are clearly at the top of the list of corporate risks, with 36% of respondents identifying them as the most important global risk. This risk includes cyber incidents such as ransomware attacks, data breaches and IT disruptions. It is also the cause of business disruption most feared by companies. This development follows two years of comparatively stable financial losses. However, there was a worrying resurgence of losses due to ransomware attacks and extortion in 2023 as the cyber risk threat landscape has evolved.

Cyber risks are the biggest business risk in the coming year, according to the Allianz Global Report 2024.

The future of cyber threats in 2024

According to the Allianz Barometer, several key trends are expected to drive cyber activity in 2024:

  • Attacks on supply chains and mass cyberattacks: cybercriminals are increasingly targeting IT and physical supply chains, carrying out mass cyberattacks and finding new ways to extort money from companies, regardless of their size.

  • Easy access to Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) kits: The availability of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) kits, some starting at just $40, led to a significant increase in cyber activity in 2023.

  • Increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) by cybercriminals: The increased threat of cyberattacks is accompanied by an increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) by cybercriminals.

  • Vulnerabilities in mobile devices: Weak security measures and the mixing of personal and corporate data on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops make them attractive targets for cybercriminals.

  • The impact of 5G technology: The introduction of 5G technology poses potential risks as it will power even more connected devices.

Skills shortage in cyber security

The current global cyber security skills shortage is more than four million people, and demand is growing twice as fast as supply. Skills shortages or human error are expected to account for more than half of significant cyber incidents by 2025.

A rising threat for SMEs

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the threat of cyber risks has increased as they are increasingly reliant on outsourcing services. SMEs often lack the financial resources and in-house expertise of large organizations. As a result, criminals have increasingly targeted smaller companies. SMEs are less able to cope with the impact of cyber attacks on business disruption. It is therefore important that SMEs remain vigilant and use cost-effective security measures to protect themselves.

Proactive measures against cyber threats

In order to proactively respond to rising cyber threats, it is crucial that businesses are aware of the risks and develop a comprehensive cyber security strategy. This should include identifying key digital assets and assessing potential vulnerabilities. Companies can then take targeted measures to increase their security. This can include introducing measures such as automated scans, implementing bug bounty programs, conducting penetration tests and training employees on security issues.

Role and importance of bug bounty programs

Bug bounty programs play a crucial role in the fight against cyber risks. They enable companies to benefit from the expertise of external security researchers by uncovering vulnerabilities in their systems before they can be exploited by attackers. These programs provide a systematic approach to identifying and fixing vulnerabilities, which improves overall security and helps prevent data leaks. They promote a culture of continuous improvement in cyber security, which is invaluable for organizations in today's fast-paced digital landscape.

Conclusion: Early detection and proactive measures against cyber risks

Ever-evolving cyber risks require organizations to continually rethink and adapt their security strategies to keep pace with changing threats. A proactive approach is crucial to effectively counter both current and future cyber threats.

The digital landscape is becoming increasingly complex, but with the right focus and measures in place, organizations can safely and proactively address cyber risks. Early detection is key and it is important to direct resources and attention in this direction, without fear but with strategic action. A comprehensive security strategy that includes various measures, possibly also based on crowd-sourcing solutions, is essential.

Find out how a bug bounty program can strengthen your IT security in view of the increasing importance of cyber risks in 2024. Immerse yourself in the world of bug bounty programs and learn how you can sustainably strengthen and optimize your IT security with the help of our experienced community of security experts.

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