FireEye and Marsh & McLennan at the World Economic Form – A Closer Look at the Perfect Storm Threatening Europe

During this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland, FireEye and Marsh & McLennan Companies released a cyber risk report that focuses on a fundamental challenge facing the European Union – the evolving threat landscape and the region’s ability to address new cyber threats.

This FireEye-Marsh report – Cyber Threats: A Perfect Storm About To Hit Europe? – examines the region’s intensifying threat climate, the pending changes to Europe’s regulatory environment and how organizations must prepare given this situation.

This week, Marsh Executive VP and General Counsel Peter Beshar and I joined with Europol’s Robert Wainwright to discuss the issues raised in the paper on a panel held in conjunction with the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

WEF – a global gathering of business, government and civil society leaders that offers solutions to the major issues of the day – is the ideal backdrop for this discussion. In a Global Risks Report just released by the WEF in advance of the meeting in Davos, connected devices and the potential for cyber attacks was identified as one of the top three global economic risks in 2017.

This is the second consecutive year that FireEye and Marsh have collaborated on the topic of cyber risk, and this year’s paper and panel address a particularly serious challenge facing the European Union.

Highlights from the paper include:

  • The cyber threat environment in Europe is intensifying dramatically, with growing concerns about cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, as well as political parties and electoral systems.  The paper draws on insights gathered by FireEye’s threat intelligence research network and from our work with organizations and governments throughout the region, identifying the nations and industries that have been most targeted and what types of attacks can be expected going forward.
  • The regulatory environment in Europe is due to change profoundly, driven in part by the European Union adoption of regulations that will impose significant new obligations on industry and its handling of personal data. The paper analyzes the General Data Protection Regulation and the effects this will have on European data protection.

There are an increasing number of questions around whether businesses are prepared for these changes. The paper presents findings from Marsh’s Continental European Cyber Risk Survey: 2016 Report, a survey of their clients across continental Europe that suggests much work needs to be done in this area.

The goal of our joint efforts – both the paper and the panel – is to make the EU community more aware of emerging cyber threat storm clouds and encourage organizations to prioritize cyber defense by partnering with experts in industry and government.