Expert Highlights Potential Crisis with AI Surge and Cyber Security Skill Shortage

by | Nov 4, 2023

In today’s fast-changing technology world, the danger of cyber crime and attacks has reached new levels. The World Economic Forum ranks cyber crime and insecurity among the top global risks. As the digital world becomes more volatile, experts warn of a potential crisis in cyber security, worsened by a shortage of skilled professionals.

Akshay Joshi, from the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cyber Security, highlights the rise of professional cyber criminal groups. These groups are highly sophisticated and continuously develop new attack methods, putting individuals, organizations, and even nations at risk. Joshi emphasizes the need to prioritize the well-being of employees in this high-pressure field, promoting mental wellness in cyber security.

A major concern in cyber security is the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and its exploitation by cyber criminals. Joshi points out the combination of phishing attempts and AI automation as a worrying trend. Phishing attempts, where individuals are tricked into clicking on dangerous links, pose a significant threat to data security. When combined with AI, these attacks become more sophisticated and difficult to detect, making online protection increasingly challenging.

A recent ransomware attack on a meat processor highlights the severe consequences of cyber security vulnerabilities. The attack led to a complete shutdown of the company’s computer systems and significant disruptions. The company had to pay a $11 million ransom to restore normal operations. Joshi warns that similar attacks could target energy and healthcare companies, causing disruption and endangering lives.

Unfortunately, the battle against cyber crime is complicated by a shortage of cyber security professionals. With a deficit of about 3.3 million experts, organizations struggle to keep up with the evolving threats. This leaves individuals and entities vulnerable to attacks, increasing the overall risk across various industries.

To address these issues and enhance the global cyber community, the Global Cyber Security Forum, hosted by Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority, emphasizes the importance of collaboration. Collective action is necessary to tackle the complex challenges of cyber security.

As technology advances rapidly, cyber attacks become more sophisticated and frequent. Phishing attempts are increasingly prevalent and difficult to combat. Cyber criminals exploit new technologies, leaving individuals and organizations exposed to potential threats.

Reducing the risks of cyber crime requires addressing the talent gap in cyber security. Organizations must prioritize recruiting and retaining skilled professionals to stay ahead of the evolving threats. The World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cyber Security advocates for a comprehensive approach, focusing not only on technical expertise but also on the mental well-being of employees in this demanding field.

Fighting cyber crime requires a proactive and collaborative effort. Governments, businesses, academia, and civil society must join forces to develop strong strategies and frameworks to protect against cyber attacks. Only through collective action can we navigate the challenges of the digital age and ensure a safer future.

In conclusion, the convergence of AI advancements, the talent gap in cyber security, and the vulnerability of supply chains create a perfect storm of cyber security risks. It is crucial that we recognize the urgency of the situation and take decisive action to safeguard ourselves and our digital infrastructure from the evolving threat of cyber crime. By prioritizing talent acquisition, mental well-being, and collaboration, we can strengthen our defense and create a safer digital world for all.