“We're living in a period of tremendous disruptive change” and the financial system is a key target as large scale attacks increase and corporate vulnerability is escalating, according to a chief economist.
Rajiv Biswas, senior director and Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit, said a massive global ransomware attack hit government organisations worldwide in May this year.
UK governments health systems were attacked by cyber criminals the same month, shutting down 16 major hospitals with ransomware demands.
Speaking at the CIPS Australasia Conference in Melbourne on Tuesday, Biswas said the financial system was a key target, citing the cybercrime attack on the Bangladesh Bank where US$81m disappeared.
In that case, central bank funds were held in the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York, routed to the Philippines and laundered through a commercial bank and casino.
Biswas also warned that as industrial automation intensifies with the internet of things and sharing of data, corporate vulnerability to cybercrime would seriously increase and would be a huge concern in the coming years for the global market.
He also outlined other key global risks, which include China's slow down in growth in the next three years, trade wars, US federal rate rises triggering emerging markets capital outflows, some Asian corporate bond markets facing stress and some overvalued APAC property markets being vulnerable.
Geopolitically, the South China Sea clash, escalating confrontation in the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s nuclear programme, Qatar’s crisis with other GCC states and the possibility of further US-Iran tensions were listed as the key risks globally.
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