WEF pushes for standards in cybersecurity

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) has laid out plans for a cybersecurity framework ahead of its annual meeting in Davos that begins on Wednesday.

Created in partnership with professional services firm Deloitte, the scheme seeks to establish a standard for quantifying digital risks so that they can be subsumed into existing plans for enterprise risk management.

Alan Marcus, senior director of ICT Industries at the WEF, said: "Continuous cyber-attacks on global organisations are showing that we are at a crossroads."

"The same technologies many organisations have become so dependent on can also threaten their very core. This is why we are launching a Future of the Internet initiative in Davos, including this critical cyber value-at-risk framework."

In order to comply with the framework, companies will need to assess their existing vulnerabilities and defences, the value of their assets and the profile of potential attackers – all tactics that have become standard practice among larger cybersecurity vendors.

The WEF hopes mass adoption of its standard will lead to more sharing of threat data, which is something that many organisations have been reluctant to engage in because of worries that it might damage their reputation.

"We need to be able to quantify cyber-risks if proper cyber-resilience assurance is to be achieved," said Jacques Buith, managing partner at Deloitte Risk Services."

"Only then will management boards be able to take sound risk/reward decisions in this volatile world and thus secure their organisations’ cyber-resilience."

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