I welcome today's debate on cybersecurity. This discussion could not come at a better time.
Every day, people across the world use digital technologies for all kinds of activity, from communication to healthcare, from entertainment to banking. Not to mention businesses and governments using these networks to deliver their many services.
The digital transformation offers a boost to all. A stronger society; a more prosperous economy; a platform to exercise human rights. We must ensure that our citizens and our businesses can get all those benefits, securely.
Overall the internet offers a boost to productivity, innovation, economic growth. It creates 5 jobs for every 2 lost. That’s an opportunity we can't turn our backs on: we should do everything we can to achieve them. But rising threats, rising vulnerabilities, and lack of trust all stand in the way.
The reasons for these risks vary. Sometimes it's about outright attacks; sometimes it's people making mischief; sometimes just mistakes or natural disasters.
And indeed some of these cases are high-profile. In 2011, for example, you may recall the case of Dutch certification company Diginotar; or the security breaches at national registries for the EU's emissions trading system. Two years ago the Dagmar storm wrecked millions of communications links. And so on.
The costs of insecure systems are high. According to the World Economic Forum, over the next decade, there is a 10% chance of a major breakdown costing over a quarter of a trillion dollars.
In just one year, PWC found that three quarters of UK small businesses, and 93% of large ones, had suffered a cybersecurity breach. Bear in mind each breach can cost tens of thousands of euros; for a large business ten times that. And the cost of data breaches can be millions, not to mention the reputational damage.
And risks are mounting. According to Symantec, the total number of attacks increased by 81% in just one year. And in ever more forms: denial-of-service, Trojans, worms, identity theft, botnets, phishing, you name it. And I know that many of you will yourself have experienced incidents with significant impacts.
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