The World Economic Forum on Wednesday announced the creation of a Global Center for Cyberspace, which will be operational starting in March, with which it intends to promote public-private collaboration in the fight against cyber threats from Geneva.
Forum director Alois Zwinggi explained at a press conference that “cybersecurity has clearly become one of the most important issues in the world,” as the cost of cybercrime reaches $ 500 billion globally each year.
Cybersecurity “affects all aspects of society, including economic growth,” he said, adding that the Forum sees it as a “clear need for better cooperation” between the public and private sectors.
The World Economic Forum, based in Geneva, “is committed – he said – to make cyberspace more robust and resilient” by seeking common solutions.
The Center will focus on five areas but will continue to implement and take advantage of current forums and initiatives.
Specifically, the Davos Forum wants to establish a “repository” for cybernetic information, as “it is crucial that the public and private sector share data globally,” Zwinggi said.
The World Economic Forum also aims to generate educational opportunities in cybersecurity, especially in countries with much potential to strengthen the defense.
In addition, the organization wants to develop recommendations for regulatory frameworks in this field and to define the future of cybersecurity scenarios.
The Center will be located in Geneva and will start operating in March, Zwinggi said, and although it will be part of the World Economic Forum, it will have its own organization and infrastructure.
Members will be global companies that are most affected by cyber threats and G20 governments and other relevant countries, as well as international organizations.
Europol Director Rob Wainwright described the creation of the Center as an “important” step in the fight against cyber threats and explained what he can see worldwide, and especially in Europe – where his organization hosts the European Center against cybercrime – “the threats are becoming more complex, challenging and larger.”
Wainwright recalled that there are about 4,000 cyber attacks of “ransomware” viruses, driven by the abuse of “virtual currency delinquency.”
Wainwright specifically mentioned the May case of the “WannaCry” virus attack that affected public utilities and businesses across much of the world by blocking computers and demanding a $ 300 bailout.
“What we’ve seen are data thefts that impact millions of users,” and there’s a trend toward attacks on crucial services such as the banking sector, which is in the first line of fire of criminals, he said.