SUNBIZ

Expert: Cyber Crime An Imminent Threat In Region

  Small island states like Fiji are more vulnerable to cyber crime due to a lack of investment in security initiatives in the South Pacific, says an expert. Tunde Fasheun,
21 Feb 2018 11:00
Expert: Cyber Crime An Imminent Threat In Region
From left: Marsh Fiji Chairman Marcus Pearson, senior consultant Tunde Fasheun and managaing director Frederic Boles at the Global risks report and cyber crime conference at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Photo: Joseva Veibataki

 

Small island states like Fiji are more vulnerable to cyber crime due to a lack of investment in security initiatives in the South Pacific, says an expert.

Tunde Fasheun, an expert from Nigeria, said cyber attacks, although not fully devel­oped in the region, are an imminent threat.

Business heads and stakeholders yesterday in Suva engaged in discussions about global risks confronting enterprises and the unfa­miliar threat of cyber crime.

In a conference brokered by international risk management firm MARSH, experts es­timated the costs incurred by businesses in the next five years because of cyber exposure could reach US$8 trillion ($16.13tn).

“It’s no longer a matter of if (cyber crime will affect us), but when,” the senior consult­ant said.

“The economic disparity between the island nations and the developed world where the uptake for technology is quite high and the islands are a bit slow is also a major factor.

“It is going to be a big challenge for the Gov­ernments of these nations to take on invest­ment initiatives and also raise the level of awareness in society against cyber attacks.”

He said the attacks could be as simple as hackers spreading malware to small comput­er systems and exlusively offering to repair them for easy money.

Cyber crime has already made an appear­ance in Fiji.

Last December, three Bulgarian nationals were charged with a count each of posses­sion of a skimming device with intent to dis­honestly obtain personal financial informa­tion from a prominent bank in Fiji.

Marsh, according to its website, is a global leader in insurance broking and risk man­agement, that helps clients better quantify and manage risks to survive and thrive.

It has done work in Fiji for over 50 years.

The firm’s Fiji chairman, Marcus Pearson, also presented the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report for 2018, which Marsh helped compile.

The 13th edition of the report provides key global risks facing businesses as well as views from over 800 experts on the threats to global prosperity.

While it does not specifically look at risk fac­tors in Fiji, the report identified five threats currently facing New Zealand as:

  • Natural catastrophe
  • Extreme weather events
  • Large Cyber Attacks
  • Asset bubble
  • Urban Planning Failure

Mr Pearson believed Fiji is facing similar risk factors, especially that of climate catas­trophe.

“Another major threat to small island na­tions like Fiji is the inability for businesses to retain talent, facing steep competition from Australia and NZ,” he said.

 

Key Report Themes:

The extraordinary pace and variety of change in the world is placing huge pressure on the absoprtive capacity of institutions and systems

Current headline economic growth rates may mask significant vulnerabilites

The world is struggling to counter environemntal degradation and forestall catastrophic consequences

Increased tensions in both domestic and international politics threaten greater friction and conflict

Rapid technological advacnes are spawning systemic, and increasingly interrelated challenges

 

 

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

 

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